Sleepy Hollow (1999)


Tim Burton directs Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci and Miranda Richardson in a fantasy horror of the classic Icabod Crane versus Headless Horseman story given a serial killer cop thriller add-on. 

The noticeable start of the shockingly steep Tim Burton decline, this has the feeling of project done out of boredom rather than passion. A feeling now familiar after a near constant run of uninspired house style remakes and reimaginings. But back then you gave the Burton / Depp powerhouse the benefit of the doubt. It is not a terrible movie. The set and costume design is stunning, Ricci is lovely in her first adult role, Walken puts in a fine extended cameo as the headless and wordless horseman. But for Depp and Burton this feels like ground well trod already and now you know they’d continue to walk back and forth in these deeper and deeper descending mud puddles you just wish they went off route and parted ways sooner. Both talents seem wasted by finding a groove that worked and the only post- Ed Wood endeavour that seemed to create genuine excitement was their awkward but gloriously violent musical sidestep Sweeney Todd. This shares some of that exception’s Grand Guignol excess, but not enough to elevate it to the Edward Scissorhands heyday. Hell, it is not even as fun as Mars Attacks.


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