Saturday, October 29, 2016

31 Days of Gothic Romance | Sleepy Hollow

If we were to define gothic romance by atmosphere alone, almost any of Tim Burton's films would fall into the category. But Sleepy Hollow is the most gothic romantic in the way it hits all the traditional themes and tropes. Like Great Expectations, it gender swaps the traditional roles, having an aristocratic woman employ ancient evil to menace Johnny Depp's perpetually frightened Ichabod Crane. There's also a great, old manor house and of course the coolest ghost ever.

Christina Ricci also looks especially appropriate as the angelically beautiful Katrina Van Tassel. She's not a traditional gothic romance heroine - wonderfully spending most of the movie making Crane wonder if she's his ally or enemy - but ends up playing another gender swapped role: the handsome young man out to rescue his love from the villain.


Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I'm getting my Mystery Movie night feet wet again when I tell you that I just can't get with this movie. The tag line said "Heads will roll" but my eyes were the ones that were rolling!

It's not that I have issue with the tongue in cheek nature or the changes to the plot (although this was likely a warning sign of what we'd get with Planet of the Apes) I just can't get behind Johnny Depp's portrayal of Icahbod.

We're told that he's a police officer who is ahead of his time with regard to investigation and forensic skill yet he acts like a clumsy coward throughout the movie.

It's hard not to look at Benedict Cumberatch's Sherlock and say this is how your brilliant outsider detective should be puzzled by seemingly supernatural murders.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I can see why they have Christina Ricci overlapping Johnny Depp on the poster though, her face is the definition of "cherubic"!

Michael May said...

I love Depp's performance in this, but then I've never liked cowardly, selfish Ichabod Crane. I would've hated it if they'd turned him into a competent hero.


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