Friday, September 20, 2013
Friday Night is Movie Night - Sleepy Hollow on FOX Mondays
This year we have three spooky trees for the front yard, more lanterns to hang and a really cool pumpkin man in a mask to put on the porch. Inside, my greatest acquisitions thus far have been a giant steam punk spider and a steam punk vulture. And a couple more spooky smaller trees for indoors.
In order to prepare for the holiday, I am trying to read Halloween appropriate books. For instance, this Halloween I am going to start The Graveyard book over and finish reading it this time.
In keeping with the theme for the season, what better way to get in the mood than to watch FOX's adaptation of Sleepy Hollow on the small screen. I didn't know what to expect, but I'm pretty sure this wasn't it. That's not a bad thing, believe me.
The story opens 250 years earlier where Ichabod Crane is a soldier fighting for General Washington. This is no mild mannered school teacher. He's gritty, handsome, confident, courageous, a good fighter, all the things you won't find in Disney's version of the story. He comes face to face with the demon who will become the Headless Horseman. He shoots the mercenary, but he won't go down. They fight, the Horseman slices Ichabod across the chest, but before he collapses, he cuts off the Horseman's Head.
Cut to present day, and Ichabod is clawing his way out of a grave in an underground cave, ala Brandon Lee in the Crow. Instead of our Ichabod having a Crow guide, he has an eagle to guide him. He makes his way above ground and walks onto a highway where he is almost run down and causes a car to swerve off the road.
The biggest surprise was finding Clancy Brown, The Kurgen in Highlander, in the show. He gets a call to investigate a disturbance, so he and his partner take the call. What they find is a local farmer that has been decapitated. The kicker, the wound is cauterized.
Before you know it, heads are rolling all over the place, but who is the Horseman and how can he be stopped?
After making his way to town, the police arrest Ichabod on suspicion of the murders, but he seems to be the only one that has any idea about what is going on and the local police are going to need every weapon in their arsenol to stop this demon.
As a first episode goes, I was really surprised by how much I liked it. All the elements of the original story are there, but they are just displaced into modern society. Ichabod is convincing as a displaced soul seeing our modern marvels for the first time.
Abby is a tough, gritty cop that is tenacious in her pursuit of the truth, but she second guesses herself, not wanting to be called crazy for what she believes.
The story takes place in Sleepy Hollow. For those of you not from the northeast, Sleepy Hollow is a real village near Tarrytown, New York, where I am sure George Washingtom slept. As anyone from this area knows, George Washington slept around...a lot. But I digress.
There is an Old Dutch Church, where at Halloween, there is a dramatic one man presentation of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Next to the church is the ancient grave yard where there are actual Von Tassels buried. Yes, there were actual Von Tassels living in the area.
Not too far from the Old Dutch Church, there is Washington Irvings estate called Sunnyside. It really is a beautiful and quaint old manor house right on the Hudson River.
While the show most certainly was not shot on location, there are a lot of establishing shots of the area. While I don't live in Tarrytown, I do go up there for Halloween. Outside of Salem, I think they do it right. There is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow in the Old Dutch Church, Cemetary tours, Haunted Hayride, Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze (over 10,000 pumpkins lit up) and a haunted village called Horseman's Hollow where if you're lucky, or perhaps unlucky, you just might see the Horseman, but don't lose your head.
So, first episode down. It did not disappoint. It was appropriately creepy. Good characters. Although I'm loathe to give too much away, I look forward to seeing where the plot will take us. It's a perfect diversion for this haunting season. Can't wait for next week!