Sleepy Hollow is one of the rare rated R movies we’ll review on this blog (we try to keep things family friendly here), but it just doesn’t feel like Halloween to me without a viewing of this Tim Burton directed gore fest.

This is a pretty drastic departure from the Washington Irving short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Instead of a snipe-nosed school master, Ichabod Crane is a forward thinking New York detective who, as punishment for his modern crime solving techniques, is sent to the small village of Sleepy Hollow. The residents are slowly being picked off by a ghostly horseman with a penchant for head chopping. Ichabod, who has a sort of supernatural background himself, is convinced that there isn’t a ghost, but the leading citizens of Sleepy Hollow are all terrified out of their wits (with good reason). When Ichabod witnesses a beheading first hand, he becomes a true believer and vows to find the person controlling the horseman.

Johnny Depp may be too beautiful to be a convincing Ichabod Crane, but he does a great job channeling the bumbling cowardice of the character (I love the spider scene…quote it all the time). Christina Ricci plays the lovely Katrina Van Tassell, Ichabod’s love interest, and it’s funny to see her as a blonde (I think Tim Burton gets a kick out of putting pale brunettes in blond wigs…remember Winona Ryder in Edward Scissorhands?). The rest of the cast is brilliant, with wonderful performances from several British veterans (Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson and Richard Griffiths). The real surprise is Christopher Walken as the (fully headed) horseman. He doesn’t have any lines (which is probably for the best), but he looks uber-creepy. (I sort of take offense that the horseman is a bloodthirsty Hessian…some of my ancestors were Hessians and they weren’t there for blood…it was all about the money, y’all.)

The ick factor here is pretty high, but I would say that if you can handle the extended version of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, you can probably handle Sleepy Hollow.

My polish for Sleepy Hollow is the intriguingly named Ick-a-Body from China Glaze’s Awakening Collection for Halloween 2010. I don’t know if they were going for the Sleepy Hollow reference, but that’s where my mind went. And if that’s not a thing, there are plenty of icky bodies in this movie. It’s a swamp green-brown base with thick, bright orange glitter. This is two coats plus two coats of topcoat (and it was still pretty grainy). Very sparkly and pretty unusual polish. ~K

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