[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sleepy_hollow_ver1_3549.jpg]]
->''[[OffWithHisHead Heads will roll.]]''
-->--'''A poster advertising the film.'''

''Sleepy Hollow'' is a 1999 period horror film directed by Creator/TimBurton, interpreting the legend of The Headless Horseman and based loosely upon the Washington Irving story ''Literature/TheLegendOfSleepyHollow''. The third film collaboration between Creator/JohnnyDepp and Burton, the film also features Creator/ChristinaRicci, Sir Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson, Casper Van Dien, Jeffrey Jones, Ian [=McDiarmid=], Michael Gough, Richard Griffiths and Creator/ChristopherWalken.

The story centers on Ichabod Crane (Depp), an unconventional police constable sent from New York City to investigate a series of murders in the village Sleepy Hollow by a mysterious Headless Horseman. The style and themes of the story take inspirations from the late [[HammerHorror Hammer Film Productions]].
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!! This Movie Contains Examples Of:

* AdaptationalAttractiveness: The original description of Ichabod Crane sounded ''nothing'' like Creator/JohnnyDepp. He originally wanted the full makeup to look quite unattractive, but the producers advised him to be himself.
* AdaptationExpansion: This movie gives the original short story more characterization and a more involved plot. [[spoiler:Brom Bones, originally the love rival of Ichabod Crane in the story (and who is also implied to be dressing up as the Headless Horseman), becomes Crane's ally (albeit temporarily) and perishes in single combat against the Horseman.]]
* AdaptationInspiration: As one would expect of a collaboration between Creator/TimBurton and Creator/JohnnyDepp, this is quite the quirky tale.
* AgentScully: Ichabod at the beginning of the investigation until the supernatural nature of the crimes becomes obvious.
-->'''Ichabod''': But it was a [[HeadlessHorseman Headless Horseman]]!
-->'''Baltus''': Of course it was; that's why you're here.
* AxCrazy:
** [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel]]. At one point with a literal ax!
** The Headless Horseman has an ax and knows how to use it.
* {{Badass}}: The Horseman.
* BestServedCold: [[spoiler:[[BigBad Lady Van Tassel]]]] had been planning revenge since childhood.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: [[spoiler:Notary Hardenbrook]] commits suicide by hanging rather because [[spoiler:he]] expects to be the Horseman's next victim.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel.]]
* BlackComedy: Perhaps one of the few films to ever qualify as a black action-comedy.
* BlondesAreEvil: [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel.]]
* BloodierAndGorier: Damn skippy.
* BloodyHilarious: Creator/TimBurton actually tried to find as many excuses as possible to have Ichabod sprayed in the face with blood. [[spoiler:Later becomes an example of NotFunnyAnymore, when the trope is applied in Ichabod's backstory...as he's a young child ''and'' the one bleeding all over him is his recently murdered mother.]]
* BloodKnight: The Hessian.
* CatapultNightmare: Ichabod. A ''lot''.
* ChekhovsGunman: The two little girls that the Horseman comes across as he's escaping the army. At first they just seem like a random inclusion, but end up integral to the story.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Maybe that's another main reason why the Hessian spared the little girl's life simply shushed them.
* CreepyChild: [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel, as the above little girl.]]
* CoolHorse: Next up on ''[[PimpMyRide Pimp My Horse]]'', we examine the Hessian's ride, Daredevil, as an example of Doing It Right.
* CowardlyLion: Ichabod
* CowTools: The autopsy sequence.
* CraniumChase: The Headless Horseman.
* CuteWitch: Katrina, who's maybe a bit older than your average cute witch, but cute anyway.
* DarkIsNotEvil:
** The Witch of the Western Woods just wants to help, [[spoiler:and gets killed for her trouble]].
** [[spoiler:The Hessian ''might'' be an example. He was a vicious soldier when he was alive, but instead of killing the two little girls who could give him away, he simply shushed them. While he's certainly killing lots of people now, he's only doing it because Lady Van Tassel is controlling him. So it's more Dark Is Not ''Completely'' Evil. He certainly cares for his horse, stroking it when it's dying and happily patting it when they're reunited.]]
* DarkMagicalGirl: [[spoiler:Katrina has strong whiffs of this trope as well, what with her enigmatic yet kind presence.]]
* DeadToBeginWith: The problem of asking, "Is he dead?"
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler:Brom.]] Considering that the movie bears little-to-no resemblance to the book, this is hardly that surprising.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: All the colors are dulled except for the blood.
* DemotedtoExtra: Extra might be going a little far, but Brom's role as Ichabod's rival is massively downplayed. He's only in a handful of scenes, not really a threat to Ichabod and Katrina, [[spoiler:and dies halfway through]].
* DoingInTheWizard: Played with; Ichabod is initially determined to do this, convinced that the Horseman is just an old ghost story, only to learn that he is very real. However, contrary to the credulous panicking of the town elders, who are convinced it's just acting out of pure malevolence, Ichabod is entirely correct that there is a very human nemesis operating behind everything.
* DraggedOffToHell: [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel's fate with the Hessian at the end of the movie.]]
* DualWielding: Used by the Hessian, to great effect. Brom, not so much.
* EagleEyeDetection: Ichabod's preferred method for solving the streak of murders.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: It's a Creator/TimBurton film, so obviously Ichabod and the Hessian fit this trope.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: The Hessian is a bloodthirsty killer, but he seems to be very affectionate toward his horse.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: The Horseman, pre-mortem, was an extremely vicious soldier who reveled in carnage...but at the same, he was not one for killing children. [[spoiler:His bit of kindness or mercy comes back to bite him in the ass, especially when we learn that a young Lady Van Tassel ''intentionally'' gave him away so she can perform her deeds in the film, as she narrates to her stepdaughter Katrina.]]
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning:
** The Horseman has a habit of spinning his weapons during battles.
** It's mentioned on the DVD that Creator/TimBurton specifically asked the special effects guys to make the heads of the victims of the Headless Horseman pop off and spin a few times after being beheaded. Cue demonstration of said special effects.
* {{Fainting}}:
** Ichabod. A ''lot''. Though he does manage to hold out until the scary thing is over.
** Katrina faints first when [[spoiler:her father is killed right before her eyes]] and secondly when [[spoiler:her stepmother, whom she thought was killed by the Horseman,]] enters the house to greet her.
* FascinatingEyebrow: Ichabod's initial reaction to anything intriguing or unusual.
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel was still alive when the Horseman went back into the Tree of the Dead. He presumably has...plans...for her.]]
* {{Fanservice}}: Burton's arm-candy girlfriend at the time, Lisa Marie, shows up in some dream sequences as Ichabod's gorgeous mother. The script actually called for a scene where she dances while loosening her top until she's pretty much topless.
* FlamingSword: Not actually in flames, but the Horseman's sword is so hot from the fires of {{Hell}} that it cauterizes any wounds it inflicts.
* ForTheEvulz: The Hessian mercenary/Headless Horseman worked for the English rather for the fun to slaughter than for money.
* FreudianExcuse: [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel]] does actually have a fairly good reason to hate the Van Garretts ''and'' the Van Tassels; [[spoiler:both of them seized her family's land and had her mother (a witch) executed, leaving her and her twin sister completely destitute and forced to live in the woods]].
%%* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Katrina
* HalfTheManHeUsedToBe: [[spoiler:Brom, thanks to the Headless Horseman.]]
%%* HeadlessHorseman
* {{Hellgate}}: The Tree of the Dead is where the Horseman travels between Earth and the underworld.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:The Horseman, arguably at the end. Once he gets back his head, he gives the more-than-deserved punishment to Lady Van Tassel (probably realizing she's the one who got him killed long ago and the one who forced him to commit decapitations), biting her and dragging her to Hell.]]
%%* HellishHorse: Daredevil
* HeroicBSOD: Happens to Ichabod twice.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: How the Hessian Horseman was killed...[[DeadToBeginWith originally]]...
* HorrorStruck: Ichabod, after seeing the Horseman up-close for the first time.
* HotWitch:
** Ichabod's mom, although her status as a witch is debatable. She was associated with magic.
** [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel is an evil example. She's very attractive and a mistress of black magic.]]
** Katrina practices witchcraft, since she is seen making a potion and chanting a spell when Ichabod fell ill. She goes more for a mix of CuteWitch and DarkMagicalGirl.
* HumanShield: Ichabod has a tendency to subtly position other people to stand in front him during moments of danger and crisis.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: [[spoiler:Baltus Van Tassel during the church attack.]]
* ImperiledInPregnancy: One of the Horseman's victims is a pregnant woman. The Horseman beheads both woman and baby.
* ImpossiblyLowNeckline: Ichabod's mother in the flashbacks, played by Burton's then-wife Lisa Marie Smith. Combined with OfCorsetsSexy, you may find yourself thinking more on the chances of a nip slip than the somber mood of the scene. [[http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-d9Dto0vGI9w/UHBTRfKVdYI/AAAAAAAAAzo/WodSFkLSHPY/s1600/sh14.jpg See here]].
* InfantImmortality: Averted ''twice''. One victim was beheaded whilst in its mother's womb.
* InfoDump: There's a particularly awkward conversation in the movie's first act in which Katrina explains her family's history to Ichabod. Creator/ChristinaRicci does her best with it, but it inevitably sounds like a recitation of [[ChekhovsLecture information that'll be important later]].
* InformedAttribute: Katrina loves her father enough to burn evidence that she thinks might be used against him, and tells Ichabod that there was no danger for her in riding through the Western Woods if it were her own father who summoned the Horseman--and yet at no point do we ever see father and daughter have any meaningful interaction throughout the course of the film. Not once.
* TheIngenue: Katrina, despite Creator/ChristinaRicci being mostly known for playing [[TheAddamsFamily dark-haired creepy kids]] and vamps.
* InNameOnly: In Irving's story, Ichabod Crane was a schoolteacher who fully believed in ghosts, and the Headless Horseman never went on a killing spree.
* InnocentBystander: Ichabod survives many encounters with the Horseman on account of this. The Horseman is shown to ignore anyone who doesn't directly interfere with his taking heads or doesn't get in his way. [[spoiler:Not that [[TooDumbToLive Brom]] listened...]]
* ItsGoingDown: The windmill. Monster movies hate windmills. This was not an uncommon fate for windmills of the time, minus the hell-monster part. [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle Flour is surprisingly flammable.]]
* ItsQuietTooQuiet: Note to city slickers: Forests are supposed to be noisy.
* IOweYouMyLife: [[spoiler:Presumably the reason why the Horseman doesn't go for Katrina.]]
* KidDetective: Ichabod is described by Creator/TimBurton as a thirteen-year-old girl-detective in a man's body.
* KilledMidSentence: [[spoiler:Dr. Lancaster, by Reverend Steenwyck.]]
* LargeHam:
** [[spoiler:Miranda Richardson]] cheerfully NOMS down any scenery that [[Webcomic/EightBitTheater isn't nailed down or on fire]] after TheReveal.
** Creator/ChristopherWalken, surprising nobody, as the Hessian can be frighteningly hammy even without saying a line except yelling maniacally.
** The special appearance of ChristopherLee [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdR4sA0MwEw counts]].
* LastGraspAtLife: [[spoiler:How Lady Van Tassel's hand appears in the Tree of the Dead when the Hessian [[DraggedOffToHell drags her to Hell]].]]
* LightIsNotGood:
** [[spoiler:Ichabod's father's eye-searingly white church hides a dungeon filled with torture devices.]]
** Played with with Katrina. As she is the only character to dress in light colors and ride a white horse, her significance is clear immediately to a GenreSavvy viewer. When combined with her witchcraft, this makes her legitimately suspicious by the time [[spoiler:Ichabod accuses her of controlling the Horseman. In the end, though, [[LightIsGood she turns out to be good after all.]]]]
--> '''Ichabod:''' Villainy wears many masks, none of which so dangerous as the mask of virtue.
* LoopholeAbuse: Sure, the Headless Horseman can't enter hallowed ground, [[spoiler:but that doesn't mean he can't tie a piece of the fence to a rope, impale his next victim and drag him out that way before beheading him]].
* LovableCoward: Ichabod. Even after he toughens up a bit toward the end, he is still in the habit of using women and children as {{Human Shield}}s.
* LovecraftCountry: The town of Sleepy Hollow and surrounding spooky woods comprise a spiritual cousin, at least.
* MoodLighting: The entirety of the movie except the ending scene is shot with a creepy blue filter. The "red" blood is actually orange.
* MoodWhiplash:
** The horror tone of the scenes with the Horseman are interspersed with the darkly comedic scenes with the bumbling Ichabod Crane.
--->'''RogerEbert:''' It's as if the Horseman gallops ahead in a traditional horror film, and Depp and Burton gallop right behind him in a satire.
** The deaths of the Killian family. Up until this point, the sight of people getting their heads sliced off has been enjoyable in a funny/gruesome sort of way, but the deaths of kind-hearted Killian and his wife and young son is treated as a genuine tragedy.
* MrExposition: When the true villain, [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel]], is finally revealed, [[spoiler:she]] goes into a long, long {{Infodump}} of raw, untreated exposition that details [[spoiler:her]] entire scheme in agonizing detail. It doubles as a MotiveRant, but despite all the EvilGloating that goes on, it's a JustifiedTrope considering [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel]] has ''already'' called for the Headless Horseman, and so loses nothing by spelling out in great detail the whys and wherefores of the plot.
* MsFanservice: Creator/ChristinaRicci is absolutely smoking hot in this film. She's not a filler character, but her deep cleavage makes her fit the trope.
* MythologyGag: Brom's fake Horseman prank closely mirrors Ichabod's encounter with the Horseman in ''The Legend of Sleepy Hollow''.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: [[spoiler:If Lady Van Tassel hadn't cut her hand during sex with Reverend Steenwyck (thus meaning she had to make a similar cut on the body of the servant girl that she was using to fake her death), Ichabod wouldn't have made the connection with his own scars and realized something was up, namely that, when the cut was made, Sarah was already dead.]]
* NobleDemon: The Horseman, both in his past life and his ghost life.
* NothingIsScarier: Lampshaded in the woods.
* NonActionGuy: Ichabod. He then later becomes an ActionSurvivor.
* NonMaliciousMonster: [[spoiler:The Horseman. He only kills when Lady Van Tassel orders him to. All he wants is to have his head back and finally rest in peace.]]
* NoNameGiven: Lady Van Tassel's first name is never revealed.
* OedipusComplex: Ichabod falls like a brick for the cute witch Katrina. His mother was "[[CloserToEarth an innocent child of nature]]" [[spoiler:"condemned, murdered to save her soul" by his father, a "Bible-black tyrant behind a mask of righteousness." ''That won't happen again''. Ichabod is a Man of Reason who rejects the intolerance of the Church and honors the gentle Katrina for her compassion.]]
* OffWithHisHead: TheMovie.
* OminousFog: Rolls in and puts out the torches before the Horseman comes riding in.
* OnlySaneMan: Ichabod ''thinks'' he's this.
* PetTheDog:
** The Headless Horseman clearly adores his horse. When it's shot at the beginning of the movie, he reacts with grief (indeed, had he not stalled to comfort it, he probably would have gotten away), and when they are reunited at the end of the film, he gives it a genuine (and surprisingly sweet) smile.
** When he encounters two girls in the woods, he tries to shush them to prevent them from giving away his position, when he probably would have had an easier time of it by simply killing them. Considering that the sound of a snapping twig was enough to alert the enemy soldiers, it's unlikely that killing the children was an option for staying inconspicuous.
* PimpedOutCape: Katrina greets Ichabod in the Western Woods while wearing [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sleepy_hollow_katrina_riding_cape_4693.jpg a long hooded white velvet cape]].
* PimpedOutDress: This is a well-off town, so fancy dresses are the norm. Even in a {{flashback}}, two girls kicked out of their home still wear [[PrettyInMink fur-trimmed dresses]] in the winter.
* PocketProtector: Ichabod is saved from a shot to the chest by Katrina's book.
* PortalCut: The [[HellGate Tree of the Dead]] only lets souls through; any material objects, such as the victims' bodies, get compressed inside the tree trunk instead.
* ProtectiveCharm: Katrina's pentagram.
* PsychoForHire: The pre-headless Horseman once worked for the Redcoats, not for money but for the love of killing.
* PunchClockVillain: [[spoiler:The Headless Horseman is revealed to be this. He's actually manipulated by Lady Van Tassel to kill for her own revenge and this time, unlike in his previous life, he feels no pleasure in killings. Moreover you can see that when he has killed his specific targets, he simply heads back in the forest, not caring of no one. Even when Brom attacks him, he simply overpowers him and begins to leave, showing that he is not interested in killing. Unfortunately, Brom was too brash for his own good and so he ended cleaved in twain]].
* RealityEnsues: [[spoiler:Katrina's father manages to get to the church, whose property the Horseman can't enter. He thinks he's safe. Then the Horseman snaps off a fence post, ties it to a rope, throws it through the window like a spear, and drags him out of the church.]]
* RedHerring: There are clues pointing to both [[spoiler:Baltus]] and [[spoiler:Katrina]] as the culprit before Ichabod finally twigs upon the truth.
* ScaryScarecrows: Plenty of them all throughout Sleepy Hollow, but most notably the [[WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas familiar]] pumpkin-headed scarecrow at the very beginning of the film.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: Ichabod does everything like a little girl ''except'' scream. He manages to work in a handful of girly whimpers and gasps here and there.
* SeekingSanctuary: ''Almost'' works...
* ShoutOut:
** The film opens with a man passing a cornfield that has a scarecrow standing up in it. Some may need a double take, but others will recognize it immediately from [[WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas one of Tim Burton's other films]].
** ''Disney/TheAdventuresOfIchabodAndMrToad'' has at least three: the toads by the bridge croaking "Ichabod," a (fake) Horseman throwing a flaming pumpkin on Ichabod, and Ichabod suddenly realizing he's on the horse of the Headless one. The fact that Brom disguises himself as the Horseman to freak out Ichabod.
* SinisterMinister:
** [[spoiler:Reverend Steenwyck has no problem with Lady Van Tassel slicing her hand, smearing him with her blood and ''drinking it'' while they're having a roll in the woods.]]
** [[spoiler:Ichabod's dad, who ''hated'' witches and figured the only way to save his wife's soul is to kill her in one of many torture devices he keeps in his church. In his dreams, Ichabod closely associates the murderous Horseman with his "Bible-black tyrant" father.]]
* SoMuchForStealth: Played wonderfully straight when the Hessian who later becomes the Headless Horseman is escaping through the woods from Revolutionary War soldiers. He encounters two children gathering firewood and cautions them to silence with a finger to his lips. Without changing expression, one of the girls deliberately snaps the stick she's holding, drawing the soldiers in their direction.
* TortureCellar: [[spoiler:Ichabod's father killed his free-spirited wife in one of these by locking her in an iron maiden.]]
%%* TownWithADarkSecret
* TroubledBackstoryFlashback: The fate of Ichabod's mother.
* UnholyMatrimony: Played for horror (yeah, the irony) when [[spoiler:the Hessian, now in possession of his head that was taken from him by Lady Van Tassel, gives her a [[{{Squick}} squick-filled]] [[ForcefulKiss kiss]] as he drags the both of them into Hell to spend eternity]]. Lovely.
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler:The Horseman himself. Lady Van Tassel used him to kill people for her personal reasons.]]
* TheVamp: [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel, who manages to seduce Reverend Steenwyck into her service.]]
* TheVoiceless: The Hessian unless we should count: ''YAAAARRRRGGH''.
* WickedStepmother: [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel to Katrina.]]
* WickedWitch: Subverted with [[spoiler:the Witch of the Western Woods, who looks like wicked but just wants to help]].
* WouldHitAGirl: Both Ichabod and Young Masbath fall into this trope, Ichabod by body-tackling [[spoiler:Lady Van Tassel]] off her horse and Young Masbath by smacking her over the head ''with a heavy tree branch''!
* WouldHurtAChild:
** The Hessian is sent [[spoiler:by Lady Van Tassel]] to murder the midwife of the town and her family. [[spoiler:He kills the father right away and the midwife hides her young son under the floor to protect him. She's killed next. The Hessian seems about ready to walk away...before stopping, turning back and then stabbing his sword into the floor. The next scene shows him [[OffWithHisHead dropping something into his sack]] as he leaves the house.]]
** One scene involves an autopsy of one of the female victims. [[spoiler:When examining her abdomen, they notice a strange stab wound. It turns out the Hessian also beheaded her ''fetus''.]]
** Subverted in the Horseman's past life. He simply shushed two girls to prevent to cover his position instead of simply killing them. [[PragmaticVillainy Though it is also possible]] he planned on killing them, but didn't want to risk them alerting the soldiers if they screamed, given even a twig snap was enough to alert them.
* YouHaveToBelieveMe:
** {{Inverted}}. Having seen the Headless Horseman with his own eyes, a panic-stricken Ichabod states this line several times to the town elders. The catch is that they believe him perfectly well; it's been ''them'' who have been trying to convince ''him'' of the Horseman's existence since the beginning of the film.
** Played straight later in the film; after [[spoiler:Brom's death]], Ichabod insists that, despite the supernatural nature of the Horseman, he has proof that the Horseman is not simply acting out of malevolence and that there is a very real human culprit operating behind the scenes and manipulating him. However, since he's been injured and is feverish, his claims are dismissed as delusional rantings.
* YouKilledMyFather: Young Masbath's father, Jonathan, was the fifth victim.
* YouLookLikeYouveSeenAGhost: For very good reason, too...
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