Horror to be Thankful for – Sleepy Hollow
Note: This entry is the third part of a continuous series in which I list, describe, ridicule, poke fun at, and sing my praises for horror films I am thankful for. Check for weekly updates until the end of November.
The classic tale of Ichabod Crane and Sleepy Hollow was a favorite of mine as a child. I was no stranger to The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad during my childhood, watching the gangly man with his abnormally large ears ride into the town of Sleepy Hollow and quickly ride away from the headless horseman. Later in life, I was introduced to another Ichabod Crane with a much darker twist to the classic tale of the murderous headless horseman.
Ichabod Crane is an eccentric investigator, a visiting constable from New York, determined to stop the murderous headless horseman. Katrina Van Tassel is a beautiful and mysterious girl, who is a distraction to Constable Crane, with secret ties to the supernatural terror. However, the plot behind the headless horseman is much more than Ichabod could have foreseen when he was given the assignment.
Top 5 Moments of the Film
1. The scarecrow in the fields of Sleepy Hollow is the favored prop in this film production. With its jack-o-lantern head and claw-like branches for arms, it sets a creepy tone at the beginning of the film. Plus, who can resist a blood splattered jack-o-lantern with frighteningly carved features.
2. The twin girls in the western woods are the prime examples of the ever-popular creepy kid element in horror. Both pale with dark eyes, one of them is the little bitch that alerts the villagers of the Hessian horseman’s presence. Snapping a branch like a twig in her arms, it is no wonder that she plays a large part in the horseman’s return.
3. The autopsy of the widow is not seen, but the blood soaking Ichabod’s features and apron is undeniably disturbing when he comes outside. “We are dealing with a mad man,” Ichabod says covered from head to toe in blood before revealing that the dear widow was pregnant.
4. The tree where the headless horseman resides before he is called from the depths of hell (another scene with garish red blood, it is a characteristic of several Tim Burton directed films). Ichabod chops at the roots of the tree, blood spurting from the veins and covering his pale features. Revealed in the deeper roots of the tree, all of the missing severed heads cover the gateway to hell.
5. Baltus Van Tassel and his death scene was amazing, it was much more interesting than the other beheadings. A fence post protruding through his chest before he is pulled from the church and through the headstones. His head is just outside the fence border of the church and its holy ground before he is beheaded by the headless horseman. Amazing kill!
Sleepy Hollow is a far cry from the classic tale of Ichabod Crane, so much blood and death on the screen. It is another favorite of mine from the director Tim Burton. Ichabod Crane is still awkward and slightly sniveling, but he is undoubtedly one of my favorite characters in this film version (being that it was Johnny Depp does not give this version of Ichabod Crane extra credit, though I am a big fan of Johnny).
The headless horseman is the other favored character, especially with the back story. Without details, the headless horseman is merely a headless horseman driven in his pursuit to find his missing head, but this Hessian horseman has a story to tell from the dark recesses of the village. Sleepy Hollow is a gruesome adaptation of the classic storybook tale, bringing you closer to the depths of hell.