Directed By – Tim Burton
Screenplay By – Kevin Yagher & Andrew Kevin Walker
Cinematography By – Emmanuel Lubezki
Starring Johnny Depp & Christina Ricci
I really want to like Sleepy Hollow. And it’s not like I don’t like it, I do, it’s just not Beetlejuice or Edward Scissorhands. Hell, it’s not even Sweeney Todd. But it does have a lot of good things going for it. I love all the shots in the woods. However Burton got that aesthetic from those woods it’s amazing. I’m assuming those are sets, but if those woods actually exist that wood (haha, get it?) be scary as fuck. There’s always mist in the background and you never know what’s going to come out from behind it. Those moments of Ichabod Crane exploring the woods are definitely my favorite part of this film. The entire look of the movie is amazing.
The only scene that stands out is when Crane finds the witch in her little witch cottage. That whole scene is fun and spooky and I wish there was more of that in this movie.
I would say there are two big problems with this film. The first is that the story is just a little too convoluted to really have an impact. Too much is going on in terms of why did who kill who, who’s baby is who’s, and why did they do this when, etc. It all takes away from the meat of what is fun about Sleepy Hollow. The second problem is that the scenes with the Headless Horseman get decreasingly gruesome. It should be the other way around (obviously). Really to make this movie work would be to make the killings mean something to the audience, which they never do, but they would have needed to focus more on the people of the town rather than the “who dunnit” which they focus on.
Maybe they could have had the first act getting to know the town so you actually care that these people’s heads are getting cut off! Also in the original short story Ichabod Crane is a schoolmaster and in this version he is a homicide detective. A schoolmaster coming to a town, getting to know everyone, and then having heads roll is way scarier than a homicide detective story, just saying.