Sleepy Hollow

Dir: Tim Burton
Star: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Michael Gambon

Christopher Lee, Richardson and a host of British characters actors, familiar from stints as inn-keepers in Hammer flicks, join Depp and Ricci in this version of a classic American folk-tale. I possess no familiarity at all with the original, so can't comment on how much Burton has skewed it towards his own, ethereally warped, sensibilities, but going on past performance, it's probably changed a bit from Irving's original. While Burton is clearly out to capture the aura of Hammer, Depp comes over more like Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer than Professor Van Helsing, his Ichabod Crane is a constable, fond of the new forensic science.

Indeed, the first half is more police procedural, with elements of The Wicker Man in the corruption to be found lying beneath an innocuous surface. This area isn't really the director's strength, it's only when the headless horseman (played, with a head, in a nice cameo which I'll leave as a surprise) enters T2 mode that it clicks into gear, coming on like a river in spate. This is great: shame that up until then, everyone forgot it was a horror story, rather than an episode of Murder She Wrote.


Legally Blonde
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