When my husband and I were dating, he invited me to a movie that he had already seen. He admitted later he didn’t mind that the movie might scare me, and I might jump and have to be held by him. The movie was Sleepy Hollow. The main actor was Johnny Depp. The year was 1999. And I haven’t seen the movie since — until last week when The Boy and I watched it again for Spooky Season Cinema, a feature I did this fall with Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs. This is probably why I kept saying, “I don’t remember any of this movie.” The Boy was quite concerned about my brain and why I couldn’t remember, at first, so many of the gory scenes. I did start to remember more as the movie went on.
I have to say it’s probably because I blocked it all from my brain since it scared me so much. Ha! Who knows.
“Or,” I told my son with a mischievous grin. “I was too busy admiring your dad during the movie.”
He just rolled his eyes and didn’t comment.
In all reality, I am quite certain that I was watching it through my fingers and wishing for it to be over, sort of like this time around, and not because it is bad but because it’s just so creepy.
Anyhow, for those who aren’t familiar, this is a movie based on the story by Washington Irving, but since it’s directed by Tim Burton, there are a lot of licenses taken. It’s very dark visually and otherwise. It involves Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) being sent from NYC to the little village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate the murders of four people by what people in the village say is a headless horseman.
Johnny Depp’s acting in the movie is odd, but that’s always how he acts. Odd, but good, you know what I mean!
In 1999, Robert Ebert wrote of the movie: “This is the best-looking horror film since Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” It is not, however, titled “Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow,” perhaps because the story has been altered out of all recognition from the Irving classic. Perhaps not. No power on earth could persuade me to reread the original and find out. What it depends upon is Burton’s gift for bizarre and eccentric special effects, and a superb performance by Johnny Depp, who discards everything we may ever have learned or thought about Ichabod Crane and starts from scratch.”
This isn’t a movie I would watch over and over, or probably again (for another 23 years) only because it was so dark (to me, but not necessarily to others who enjoy these types of movies), but I might watch it again for the acting, which is very good (Johnny is awkward and funny to me, but I guess that’s how he’s supposed to be for this character). The imagery is also very dynamic.
So this is the end of our Spooky Season Cinema since Erin and I both agreed we are ready for some less scary and spooky movies as we get ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. We are working out the details for which movies and specials we will watch for our combined feature, which we plan to start writing about the week of Thanksgiving. We’d love to have people join us this time around so we will let you know which movie we are watching first when we decide.
If you want to read about the past movies we watched for this feature, you can search over to the right for “Spooky Season Cinema.” Thank you to Erin for designing the graphic for this feature and for helping to organize and choose many of the movies. I had a lot of fun experiencing the movies and sharing that experience with Erin and my teenage son.
You can read her impression of Sleepy Hollow on her blog.