tek's rating: ½

Sleepy Hollow (R)
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This came out in 1999, and as such, I actually got to see it in a theater. I don't recall whether I've seen the whole movie between then and when I watched it on DVD in 2012, to review. Anyway, it's a sort of reimagining of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow."

In this interpretation of the story, Ichabod Crane is a constable in New York, in 1799. He has modern ideas about investigating crimes scientifically, and because of this, he seems to be quite unpopular with pretty much the whole legal system. So a judge sends him to a small town called Sleepy Hollow, where there have recently been a few murders by decapitation. Everyone in town tells him the murders were committed by the Headless Horseman (Christopher Walken); the ghost of a Hessian mercenary who'd been killed like 20 years earlier, after having killed many people. Ichabod, of course, doesn't believe in ghosts, so he's determined to discover who's really behind the murders.

Meanwhile, he's staying in the home of Sleepy Hollow's most prominent citizen, Baltus Van Tassel, and his daughter, Katrina (Christina Ricci), and Baltus's wife (Katrina's stepmother, played by Miranda Richardson). Ichabod and Katrina quickly bond, which annoys Katrina's boyfriend, Brom (Casper Van Dien). Anyway, there are more murders while Ichabod is in town, including a man named Masbath, whose son (young Masbath) becomes an assistant to Ichabod. There is also some backstory about Ichabod, mostly through dreams he has of his childhood, involving his mother. Anyway... eventually Ichabod realizes the Headless Horseman is real, but he determines that someone is controlling the ghost.

So... in spite of supernatural elements, it's basically a detective story. And a bit of a love story, sort of. And there's some humor. And of course it's all a bit weird. I'm not sure how cohesive the plot actually is, but still it was fun to watch.

folk horror index
Gothic horror index

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
TV Tropes; Wikipedia

movies: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad * Sleepy Hollow
TV: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1999) * The Hollow * Sleepy Hollow