Sleepy Hollow Review

Hi everyone, this is a piece I wrote for my college interview a few months ago.

I must have been around the age of 5 when I first encountered the gothic horror, Sleepy Hollow. It was way past my bedtime and having been woken up by nightmares of Freddie Kruger – a regular occurrence in my childhood – I went through to the living room where my mum had dozed off on the couch. Knowing that I’d be sent straight off to bed if she woke up, I sat quietly on a chair in front of the TV and caught my first glimpse of what would soon become one of my all-time favourite films. My first encounter was brief. I only managed to catch around 5 minutes of the film before my mum woke up and put me back to bed. From what I remember, that 5 minutes involved a scene in which a young Ichabod Crane – the film’s protagonist – was dancing with his mother who gracefully spiralled into the air in a bewitching fashion. At this age, I was obsessed with witches and my favourite TV show was Buffy the Vampire Slayer – a programme which regularly involved spells and charms. For all intents and purposes; I was now obsessed with Sleepy Hollow. By the age of 8, I must have watched it about 100 times. As time went on, I obsessed over other things, but this film always meant something special to me. An older Finn would go on to rediscover this Tim Burton gem and recognise its worth.
Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, a reimagining of Washington Irving’s ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ was released in 1999 and is set in 1799 America. It stars Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane, a bizarre and cowardly detective with a fondness for the new-born field of forensics. The film sees him shipped off from New York to the eerie village of Sleepy Hollow where he is set to investigate a series of beheadings which locals claim to be the work of the Hessian Headless Horseman – a title which happily rolls off the tongue. Ichabod, a man of reasoning and logic is quick to dismiss all of these theories and sets off to find answers. However, he will soon have to confront his disbelief of superstition. And if you’re a secret softie like me, there’s a sweet little love story thrown in between Ichabod and the endearingly mysterious Katrina Van Tassel played by Christina Ricci.
Some fans may notice that this film pays a lot of homage to the old ‘Hammer’ Horror films. The film even features the late Christopher Lee, who is practically the face of Hammer. In fact, his scene where he plays a head judge in New York cleverly makes use of a statue behind him to make him appear to have bat-like wings in one frame; a nod to his role as Dracula.
I love this film because in typical Tim Burton fashion, he mixes inventive fantasies with Gothic designs. It is aesthetically dark and menacing. The set is frighteningly beautiful with most of the film looking very black and white – minus the bright red blood of course. The mise-en-scène of the film is spectacular and some could argue is what really drives this horror flick. Johnny Depp gives a great performance and somewhat comfortably portrays the eccentric and sometimes frustrating hero. You can tell that he feels right at home in another one of Burton’s gothic productions.
From the dialogue and costumes to the dreary lighting and outstanding music score by Danny Elfman, Sleepy Hollow is very convincing in portraying an already familiar story of the Headless Horseman. Bringing in a mixture of comedy, gore, witchcraft, blood-soaked trees and a wonderfully berserk Christopher Walken as the headless horseman; Sleepy Hollow easily put me under its spell for so many years. Any fan of horror and especially Tim Burton should watch this film. Heads will roll. Quite literally.

Back again and with a guide to failure.

So, it appears that I’m here yet again. It saddens me to admit that my recent attempt of a ‘comeback’ failed miserably. It was a lousy piece of writing that lacked the Finn-ish substance that we have all come to know and love (nod, smile and act like you know what I’m talking about). Failure is never a nice thing to feel. Whether that be in education, work, relationships, friendships or the worst – and totally the best – giving into that 12″ Margherita pizza when your diet has been going so well; and when your closest heaven-like takeaway does a great ‘BOGOF’ offer, who can possibly say no? Unfortunately for most failures; the faster the drive, the harder the crash. It is important to remember that those horrible feelings in which failure brings – although intense – are only temporary. We must accept our mistakes and work from them.

From my own experience and the accounts of others, I believe that there are 6 different stages of failure:

Confusion

Sadness

Regret

Anger

Acceptance

and finally; motivation for something greater!

I, like so many others, do not believe that they are good enough. We already have failure in our heads and as a result we carry this through everything we do. I don’t see it happening at the time but it’s a more than reasonable answer for why I’m so bloody good at not putting in my 110%. I may mock my old drama teacher for her constant ramblings about ‘SFP’ – SELF FULFILLING PROPHECY, but for the most part, she was right. I mean, don’t get me wrong… if I believe that I’m going to turn into a Russian gymnastic potato, I doubt it will actually happen. But in terms of failure, it’s pretty effective to go into it with a positive outlook as hard as that may be.

And remember…

DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANYONE ELSE. THIS IS YOUR JOURNEY. WHO EVEN DEFINES FAILURE? DO NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE DEFINED BY YOUR COURSE, JOB, FRIENDS, PAST OR WHATEVER OTHER CRAPPY THING SOCIETY PROJECTS INTO OUR EXPECTATIONS OF LIFE. HAPPINESS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. PROJECT YOUR GREATEST VIBES OUT INTO THE WORLD AND THEY MIGHT JUST BOUNCE BACK!

For this was another pointless post by maraudingminds 🙂

Stats are rats

It’s early morning and I’m not fully functioning just yet. However, I’m functioning well enough to realise the stats on this are wrong. Before I went to sleep last night I had about 5 likes on a new post yet it was still saying that I had only accumulated 3 views even though it was posted on the same day. So, when I woke up I checked again and I had beat my record with 7-ish likes on my post, yet somehow only had 5 overall views… How about no?
For this was another pointless post by maraudingminds🔮