The story, of course, is based on the famous Washington Irving classic THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW. Ichabod Crane is a New York constable in 1799 sent to the out-of-the-way town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of decapitations that have taken place recently. Crane is a man of science and hence does not believe the tales of a headless horseman being responsible for the murders. Crane seeks a logical explanation for it all, but soon discovers there's a lot more to the tale than a ghost in the woods.
HOLLOW is a beautifully crafted film, and along the visual lines, as
most of Burton's work, this is an impressively stylish endeavor.
Where SLEEPY HOLLOW fails is in the rather lackadaisical storytelling
and neglect of feeling for the characters. Burton has a grasp of the
mechanics of direction, but he forgets that one shouldn't make it
seem so mechanical. Outside of some memorably disturbing images,
there's very little to keep one interested in the story, and even
during a particularly well-crafted chase scene near the end of the
film, it still remains somewhat unexciting. What a shame that such
terrific cinematography, competent actors, beautiful sets and
costumes, and an interesting plot end up all for naught. Ironically,
the title of the film is quite appropriate because even though the
film hits the right notes stylistically, at it's core the soul of the
film is hollow, (not to mention that many viewers who crave something
more will be quite sleepy for the duration).
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