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Sleepy Hollow

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Sleepy Hollow

Starring: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci
Director: Tim Burton
Rated: R
RunTime: 100 Minutes
Release Date: November 1999
Genre: Horror

*Also starring: Casper Van Dien, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon, Marc Pickering, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough, Christopher Lee, Jeffrey Jones, Lisa Marie

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Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4

Tim Burton fans are gonna relish this fantasy horror story, especially the creepy beginning. It's 1799 on a misty road near the small village of Sleepy Hollow in New York's Hudson River Valley when a coach carrying the region's richest man (Martin Landau) is attacked by a mysterious Headless Horseman wielding a deadly sword. Whoosh! Off goes his head! Then the killer strikes again. Each time, the victim is decapitated. Understandably, the insular Dutch locals are upset, many convinced that they're being haunted by the demonic spirit of a Revolutionary War mercenary (Christopher Walken) who died in the West Woods, a place where no one dares go. Then an inquisitive, if squeamish, new constable, Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) appears, sent to track down the murderer. He scoffs at the idea of a supernatural being, focusing his forensic attention on hunky Brom Van Brunt (Casper Van Dien) but soon learns that, perhaps, there are vengeful supernatural forces at work. In the meantime, he falls in love with Katrina Van Tassel (Christina Ricci - in a blonde wig), the bewitching daughter of his landlords (Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson). While the first few Horseman attacks are scary - thanks to stuntman Ray Park - it soon becomes evident that all the women are witches and a crazed serial killer is on the loose. Seven screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker revises Washington Irving's classic ghost story, concluding with a millennial flourish, and Emmanuel Lubezki's sepia-toned cinematography is impressive. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Sleepy Hollow is a grim, gruesome 6 - a belated Halloween treat with more style than substance. Be warned: nearly everyone's head rolls and the brutal beheadings are graphic and violent - not suitable for young children.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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