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Plot Edit

In 1799, New York City, police constable Ichabod Crane is outraged at the government for their methods of dealing with murders, viewing them as primitive. He is then dispatched by his superiors to the Westchester County hamlet of Sleepy Hollow, New York to test his more modern tactics and is to investigate a series of brutal slayings in which the victims have been found decapitated.
The Hessian during the war.

The Hessian during the war.

A pioneer of new, unproven investigative techniques such as finger-printing and autopsies, Crane arrives in Sleepy Hollow armed with his bag of scientific tools only to be informed by the town's elders that the murderer is not of flesh and blood. Crane is told that the killer is a headless supernatural warrior from beyond the grave that rides at night on a massive black steed. He is then told the story of how this person was a Hessian who fought in the American revolutionary war and had a high lust for carnage compared to his comrades. Eventually he was beheaded by american soldiers and now he roams the night beheading people. 

Crane begins his own investigation, remaining highly skeptical about the supernatural elements in the case until he encounters the Headless Horseman himself. Boarding a room at the home of the town's richest family, the Van Tassels, Crane is introduced to their daughter, Katrina whom he develops an attraction to much to the anger of her boyfriend, Brom Van Brunt.

Delving further into the mystery with the aid of the orphaned Young Masbath, whose father was recently run down and decapitated by the Horseman, Crane discovers within the Western Woods the Horseman's grave, as well as his entry point into the natural world from the supernatural — the gnarled Tree of the Dead. Katrina shows up to assist due to no one else volunteering to venture into the woods with him in which Ichabod appreciated. Crane digs up the Horseman's body to see that the skull is missing, suspecting that is why the Hessian returns to the living to behead people. 
Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel.

Ichabod Crane and Katrina Van Tassel.

The Horseman attacks the Sleepy Hollow again one night, murdering an entire family and both Ichabod and Brom try to take him down, only resulting in Brom being brutally bisected and Ichabod being stabbed but luckily survived.  

For so long, Crane has been plagued by nightmares of his mother's horrific torture by his father when he was a child, opening up to Katrina about them which causes the two to grow closer. 

The murders continue and Crane is advised to leave because of his failure to cease the killings. He soon uncovers a murky plot revolving around revenge and land rights with the Horseman controlled by Katrina's stepmother Lady Van Tassel, who tells Katrina she witnessed the Horseman's death when she was a child and sends the killer after Katrina to solidify her hold on what she considers her property, a piece of land unjustly claimed by Katrina's father.

Following an encounter with the Horseman in the local windmill in which Crane, Katrina and Masbath barely escape and a stagecoach chase through the
Headless Horseman.

Headless Horseman.

woods, Crane is shot in the heart by Lady Van Tassel but a book Katrina gave to him earlier stops the bullet, Katrina ironically telling him upon giving it to him "Keep it close to your heart." Crane then thwarts Lady Van Tassel by returning the skull to the Horseman, who regains his head and flesh and goes back to Hell along with Lady Van Tassel who he takes as his slave. 

With his job in Sleepy Hollow over, Crane, with Katrina and Young Masbath, returns to New York (where he describes as where "the Bronx is up and the Battery is down..."—Tim Burton's nod to the song "New York, New York (On the Town)" by Leonard Bernstein), in time for the new century.

Cast Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Sleepy Hollow is Tim Burton's fourth feature film in the genres of horror and dark fantasy.
  • This is the third Tim Burton film to star Johnny Depp. Depp previously played noted film director Edward D. Wood, Jr. in the 1994 biopic Ed Wood and before that, he played tormented scientific experiment Edward Scissorhands in the 1990 film of the same name.

Recommendations Edit

See also Edit

External Links Edit

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