Science fiction and fantasy
directed by Tim Burton
The residents of Sleepy Hollow are a superstitious lot, putting their faith in charms and believing in magic. Katrina Van Tassel (Christina Ricci) is the daughter of one of the wealthiest landowners in the village. She helps Ichabod in his investigations, and seems to be fond of the squeamish constable. There's a lot to turn Crane's stomach, with effects that are gory as well as spooky gothic. Tim Burton has gone to town with misty woodlands, washed-out colours and witchcraft. This is one of Burton's best-looking movies, embracing his trademark rich gothic style.
That's not to say that Sleepy Hollow is altogether scary. A dash of romance makes this film more sweet than dark, especially with a character as endearingly wimpy as Crane. The ending does break the mood somewhat, because the horseman is so outrageously beastly it's funny, and the criminal behind everything goes in for some excessive gloating.
The mystery in Sleepy Hollow is well laid out, although it's perhaps not the most complex of plots for the constable to figure out. This is a short film that never outstays its welcome nor dwells on one situation for too long. It's a movie that's more picturesque than creepy, dark in appearance but quite light-hearted and feelgood when you get down to it.
If you like this, try:Johannes Cabal The Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard
An acerbic, over-educated necromancer tries to win back his soul in this occult comedy.
Review © Ros Jackson
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