Movie Review: Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Synopsis: In 1799, New York City constable Ichabod Crane is sent to the farming village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of gruesome murders involving decapitation. He quickly learns the murders are being committed by the vengeful spirit of a Hessian soldier but suspects the headless horseman is being controlled by someone in the village.

Who's in it? The movie stars Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Casper Van Dien and Christopher Walken.

Review: My wife wasn't feeling 100 percent last night and, knowing she would probably go to bed anyway, I ended up putting this movie on. I've seen it at least a half dozen times now, so most of the surprises weren't really surprises any more. But, it still remains one of my favorite movies.

I think one of the biggest reasons I like this movie as much as I do is the Ichabod Crane character is easily one of Johnny Depp's best roles. I love how he portrayed him as being brilliant but squeamish and a bit of a coward. You never knew if he was going to do something smart, something brave or if he was going to use a woman or child as a human shield.

The movie also manages to be a halfway decent mystery. It's obvious, from the beginning, the dead Hessian (Walken) is behind the murders. But, since the deaths don't seem random, there is a question about who is controlling the spirit and why. This becomes even more complicated when a conspiracy is revealed that involves many of the town's leaders.

I don't think the movie ever reaches a point where I would consider it a horror film. But, it does work well as an action film, especially when the Headless Horseman gets in fights with Crane and various other characters. Those fight scenes are very entertaining and manage to bring new life to the movie when it starts getting a bit bogged down (something more films need to try).

Final Opinion: As I said before, this is one of my favorite films and, even though I've already seen it at least a half dozen times, I won't hesitate to watch it again.

My Grade: A


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