Friday, October 18, 2013

HallowREADS: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: Page & Screen

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My first memories of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow was the Disney version of course! All roads of fantastical stories from my youth always lead back to Disney :)

I haven’t seen the Disney version for years, but in my consciousness reside memories of a gangly Ichabod Crane, almost comical in nature being chased by a very spooky headless horseman with a flaming pumpkin! I’m sure all turned out well in the end but that animated version set the foundation for what I expected from the legend.

Next Up was the Tim Burton version of Sleepy Hollow. He we get a gangly, yet gorgeous Depp playing more of a scientist than teacher, Christina Ricci as the beautiful Katrina who has a fascination with Magic, and Christopher Walken as the scariest horseman by far! I loved this movie version  because of the wonderfully gothic feel to the film and the action.

Now flash forward to October 2013 and we have the weekly TV show Sleepy Hollow. I have to admit I owe the Sleepy Hollow team a bit of an apology. I wasn’t able to see the panel when I was at SDCC so I judged the show based on the trailers, and I thought it would be corny. I was determined to give the show a try though because the lead on the show was African American actress Nicole Beharie. I’m so glad I watched the first episode! The show has a wonderful blend of humor, horror and action. There is a great chemistry between Nicole and Tom. As a time displaced Ichabod Tom has many hilarious adventures with modern conveniences like coffee makers, televisions and the price of donut holes :)

I would also be remiss in not pointing out Tom’s sexiness! Thigh high boots and pirate shirts ? Um.. Yes! I also love how everything about Nicole radiates authority in her role. From the way her hair is styled to her handling of a gun, viewers get a character that effortlessly radiates her efficiency and attractiveness.

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So while I’ve been in a Sleepy Hollow state of mind, I thought it was the perfect time to read the source material. Sleepy Hollow is not a long story, but it does contain all the foundational elements we have seen in the adaptations. The only problem was I really didn’t find this story even remotely scary. There is a lot of establishing material about Ichabod and the community he lives in as well as his attraction to Katrina. It was hard to really like Crane because he didn't seem to want Katrina for herself, but for the fine lands and buildings she will inherit on her marriage day. Even Cranes rival Brom Bones isn’t that great a guy. Brom is a borderline bully who is known to stir up the town at night.

The famous scene where Crane encounters the Horseman had a little dramatic tension. Cranes mysterious disappearance at the end of the tale  could have been a nice twist of myth turned reality, except Irving muddies the water with narratives that leave the reader doubting what really happened. More a morality tale than chilling read but it was interesting to finally read the source material.


This is my 5th short story for RIP VIII


Anonymous said...

The Disney version did such a number on me when I was a kid. It didn't help that my dad pulled a "headless" prank on me one Halloween. Ah, parents...

I'm not sold on the current series, but I *really* like Abbie and Ichabod as characters. I'd love to put them in any crime drama out there (except Elementary, which already has its own platonic crime-fighting couple).

Megan said...

Oh I am so liking the new Sleepy hollow show aswell and I am so in like with Tom sexy and funny <3
Oh I haven't seen the Johnny Depp movie of Sleepy Hollow in soooo long great now I need to watch, lol