31 Days of Halloween- Day 14 -SLEEPY HOLLOW

31 Days of Halloween – Day 14

Sleepy Hollow (directed by Tim Burton, 1999) What would Halloween be without the tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman? I am sure most of us have seen the old Disney cartoon based upon Washington Irvine’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, in which Mr. Crane comes face to face with the ghoulish Headless Horseman. In 1999, Tim Burton took the legend, made a couple changes to the story (minor changes), and brought us his version, Sleepy Hollow. If anyone in Hollywood can take a classic American ghost story and make it great, Tim Burton (Batman, Edward Scissorhands) is that someone. After being labelled as eccentric by his peers, Constable Ichabod Crane is sent from New York to the village of Sleepy Hollow to investigate some mysterious and grisly murders. Someone is decapitating victims, and keeping the evidence. The town’s people are convinced that a local legend, a Headless Horseman is responsible, but Crane at first does not believe in their theory. Ichabod soon realizes that Sleepy Hollow is a place steeped in lies, deceit, and supernatural occurrence. He must now uncover the mystery of the Horseman and find away to send the Hessian back to hell. Like the vast majority of Tim Burton’s projects, the attention to detail is amazing. The turn of the eighteenth century costumes and sets are brilliant. The cast, led by Tim Burton mainstay Johnny Depp (Ichabod Crane), Christina Ricci (Katrina Van Tassel), and the great Christopher Walken as the Headless Horseman. Depp is great as the smart, yet often terrified Crane, and Walken is menacing as the antagonist. Sleepy Hollow is actually very violent and bloody, which is different from most of Tim Burton’s other more whimsical films. The color tone of the film is very grey and neutral that when the blood starts flying, it stands out that much more. As far as films go, you cannot find one that is more entrenched in Halloween lore than Sleepy Hollow. The Horseman even throws a flaming jack-o-lantern at Ichabod Crane’s head at one point, proving that everyone celebrates the eve of all Hallows in their own special way. If you are looking for a fun, spooky popcorn movie to watch tonight, Sleepy Hollow might just fit the bill.

IMG_0678

Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Day 11 – Near Dark
  • Day 12 – The Lost Boys
  • Day 13 – Child’s Play
  • Day 14 – Sleepy Hollow

31 Days of Halloween Day 10 -THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS

31 Days of Halloween – Day 10

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick, 1993) The fact that this film is twenty-two years old blows my mind. After two plus decades, this wonderful animation has not lost any steam. The characters are still as cool, the soundtrack is still one of the best ever, and the merchandise is everywhere. I think I know why. The Nightmare Before Christmas is one hell of a film. Not only is by far my favorite animated feature, but probably in my top ten loved movies of all-time. The Tim Burton written story is fun, emotional, creepy, and lovely all at the same time. The stop-motion animation is whimsical, and endearingly imperfect. All of the voice work fits the characters, and the songs, written by Danny Elfman, make the film complete. Halloween Town is celebrating another Halloween, anchored by the Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington. Jack is to Halloween as Santa Clause is to Christmas. He runs the show. But the Pumpkin King is becoming bored with the same old routine. He wants to do something fresh. While Jack and his “dog” Zero are out lamenting Skellington’s complacency one evening, they stumble across a place in the forest with strange doors built into the trees. Jack decides to venture through one of these doors, and discovers something that takes his breath away; Christmas! Jack falls in love with Christmas, and hatches a plan to bring Christmas to Halloween town. The venture goes wrong, and Christmas is in real danger of being destroyed by the over-zealous Jack and fellow misfits, which include a trio of devilish kidnappers, a much feared entity called Mr. Oogie Boogie, a senile old mad scientist, and a cast of other assorted ghouls, vampires, zombies and werewolves. The only person who can see that this will go wrong is Sally, Jack’s sweetheart. Nightmare can also be categorized as a Christmas movie, but it feels more like a Halloween treat because of the Tim Burton factor. It is twisted and dark, but in a fun way. The whole family can take something away from this film. This soundtrack always makes me happy when I hear it. Danny Elfman is brilliant, and this is some of his best work. He even does the singing parts for Jack, and the voice bits for a few other characters. Director Henry Selick (James and the Giant Peach, Coraline) does a fine job putting it all together, and like Burton, has an eye for the bizarre. Whenever I hear someone say “I’ve never seen that movie”, it almost baffles me as much as hearing someone say the same words regarding Star Wars. Viewing this film will make you happy, and make you fall in love with Halloween. Watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, for Halloween, because it will make you a better person.

Recap

  • Day 1 – The Conjuring
  • Day 2 – You’re Next
  • Day 3 – Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Day 4 – Dog Soldiers
  • Day 5 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
  • Day 6 – Psycho (1960)
  • Day 7 – John Carpenter’s The Thing
  • Day 8 – The Prowler
  • Day 9 – Pet Sematary
  • Day 10 – The Nightmare Before Christmas

T.