Hello– well jeezy-louizzy! We sure have had a good few video game posts lately, eh? Oh, and a Reuben did a crap top ten; like I’m one to talk.

Oh, now that is what you call an obnoxious intro.

I watched Sleepy Hollow last night, for no real reason. I didn’t particularly want to see it, I hadn’t made any sort of plans to see it, just thought I’d watch it. I thought it would be alright, it was. Nothing special, nothing awful. However, it was extremely clear to me what was good and bad about it, a rare occurrence, which compelled me to actually write about it. Oh, and Reuben pressuring me to write something like an iron maiden made out GCSEs, that might have had something to do with it.

*Looking back on it, this is gonna be a long one or a, what is it we call it? In-Depth Review? Wow, that sucks.*

A stand-out pro with the film was the look. As a lover of all things in-your-face, bombastic colour, I never would’ve thought that a film so monochromatic would appeal to me, let alone striking me as, well, striking. The entire film felt like quite a blank canvas, with very little colour in the environment or characters. That makes the blood look so, so much better. In choice scenes very few and far between, the crimson would make an appearance and it would be in glorious manner. One scene in particular, one in which Ichabod Crane, played by Johnny Depp, attempts to cut open a tree and it starts bleeding, was startlingly eye-catching. The scene, up until then, was particularly pale, as is usually the case with Tim Burton’s… things, as I was watching it I was hoping for a lovely blood splatter and, lo and behold, it did. The film did blood extremely well in fact, something that Tim Burton would do later in Sweeney Todd.


Yep, another low res pic.

I was also reminded of The Shining in particular scenes, also. In fact, upon reflection, Burton straight up ripped it off. During a dream sequence, Crane witnesses an iron maiden being… occupied, a lasting theme throughout, yet this time it opens and floods, and I mean fluh-huds, of blood comes pouring out and I was sat there thinking, “I’ve definitely seen this before. Oh wait, that was that bit from The Shining weren’t it?” Please try and imagine that in a monotone, slightly West Country accent. In my notes, I’ve described the scene as “blood flood” and that rhymes which I find amusing. That being said, put to the monochrome background, I was still gawking at how gosh darn purty it was.


Cover your eyes, Danny!

There was also another bit (I’ll be doing a lot of this), where Ichabod goes to see a witch for some reason or another, can’t really remember. She goes mental, in short, and there are some lovely prosthetics to make her head… explode? I guess. Anywhom, her face turned instantly into something from Beetlejuice or Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. The combination of face enlargement, extreme wrinklage and lack of eye holes produced something chillingly, horrifically, terrifyingly… done before. I wasn’t even quaking in my little cotton socks.

Large Marge gone gothic.

Though it may have seemed that I was urinating quite proudly on the fireworks of the practical effects team, in all fairness, they did quite great job, successfully making the violence and decapitations, in particular, look sleek and stylish. The… um… err… ah… exit wounds were quite well done, pretty realistic and detailed, with all the bits. They also had an excellent blood squib here and here. Really, top class squibbige old chap.

But it ain’t all exit wounds and cotton socks, for a film to be considered good it needs to have some actual substance and, sadly, that was this movie’s downfall. Watch for spoilers from here on.

Performance wise, everything was just a bit bland really. Johnny Depp just played his usual Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, sort of eccentric guy. I wasn’t that impressed with anyone else really. If anyone was the film’s redeemer it would be Michael Gambon, but even he wasn’t that great. The underlying problem was that, essentially, they were all playing the same character, just different ways. They were all posh, all a bit fantasy-y and they were all a bit erratic. There wasn’t really any variety and that just bored me. The accents fluctuated quite dramatically also. As it was set in early American times, you’d expect to most to have quite an English accent and, though Depp and Gambon did, admittedly, hold up their end, some were just too American. None more so than the child actor, who I canNOT be arsed to look up for names, who, as well as not having any clear chemistry with Depp on screen, looked as if he didn’t put hardly any effort in. I found it quite shocking, in fact, that acting of such level could be in such a film, but it was. WHOOPS. To add to that, his character was pretty much totally unnecessary to the story throughout. It is performances like that which make me loathe most child actors.

I was going to talk about Casper Van Diel and his stupid performance but I’m already flustered and I don’t really want to kill another dog.

That all being said, however, there was one, solemn performance that I actually enjoyed and it was that of one Christopher Walken, he who sits on the grand table of Gods along with the likes of Denzel Washington and Bill Paxton. He is portrayal of the Horsemen in question led to some of the most nail biting scenes of the entire movie and, with the help of make up, was able to bring an aura of the sinister to the film. But trust Tim Burton to completely underuse him, leading him to have, what felt like, on maybe 20 minutes screen time. So dumb.

The ending, this is where the SPOILERS come in, by the way, was so twisty-turny that as the plot convoluted even further, so did my feelings about, making me happy sometimes and just mildly disgruntled at others, it’s just a movie, no point getting flustered over it. This was because of a stupid almost gimmick of how that Horseman just doesn’t die, leading to like 4 final showdowns, one of which was on top of a high speed carriage. As it was going on I was anticipating it to end like most, by the villain getting struck by an overhead object, like in Speed, but it didn’t, thank the Gods that it didn’t because I would’ve kicked off otherwise. Anyway, by the 4th time the Horseman came back to life it sort of lost it’s effect. It was a stupid way to unnecessarily elongate the running time and I don’t want to talk about it anymore. God, I really hate unnecessarily elongated pieces of media, especially reviews of 17 year old films.


God, just die already!

To summarise (finally): Sleepy Hollow was a very pretty film, with a great monochromatic colour scheme punctuated by sharp dashes of red. However, that was about it. And it didn’t deserve, 1176 BLOODY WORDS.




Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations


One thought on “Sleepy Hollow (1999) – Review

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