The horror-based television shows started with shows like ‘The Twilight Zone‘, ‘Dark Shadows‘, ‘Tales From The Crypt‘ and the ‘X-Files‘, but they really shot to must see status with the 2010 premier of the AMC hit ‘The Walking Dead‘. Now with horror style television being so popular, many writers are cashing in on the growing popularity of the genre. Premiering this fall along with a new season of The Walking Dead are Sleepy Hollow and Dracula. Sleepy Hollow premiered Monday September 16th at 9pm EST on Fox. I know I’m late with this, but I was too busy to watch it on the original air-date. I’m sure most of you have seen it by now, so I will give a lot more away than usual.
First the recap.
Written by: Phillip Iscove, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
Directed by: Les Wiseman
Starring: Tom Mison and Niciole Beharie
I was a little apprehensive about watching a television show based off the classic tale ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow‘, but I’m glad I decided to give it a watch. There are a lot of differences between the new television show and the literary masterpiece of ‘The Legend of Sleep Hollow‘. I am going to start this review/recap from the beginning of the show.
‘Sleepy Hollow‘ opens with a battle scene that is set in the middle of the Revolutionary War. In the middle of this bloody battle, we see Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman before he was, well, headless. Ichobad and the Horseman engage in battle and Ichabod chops off his head. Fun Fact, not since the pilot episode of Game of Thrones has someone been beheaded in the first three minutes of a television show. Flash forward to present day Sleepy Hollow, over 200 years have gone by, and all of a sudden Ichabod is awakened and finds himself in a cave.
He wasn’t the only one awakened, the Horeseman also made his return to Sleepy Hollow. The writers sure did not waste any time with the beheadings after the Horseman’s return. He claims his first victim in the first couple of minutes after his return. You do not get to see the first victim until police discover his headless body. His second victim is someone that we have seen previously in horror, Jeff Fahey (Pet Sematary 2) met a gruesome end in a barn. The Horseman also kills a priest. If this was any indication of the amount of heads that will role, there will be a lot throughout the course of this show as there were 4 beheaded in the first half an hour of the show.
Not to worry, Sleepy Hollow also offers a bit of humor to go along with the madness. Keep in mind, Ichabod was last alive in Sleepy Hollow during the Revolutionary War, and he is now in 2013 Sleepy Hollow, there is a lot to take in. He also shares some comedic and witty moments with a woman police officer.
There is a lot more Biblical referances in the television show. We find out that the Headless Horseman was never a man, but one of the four Hourseman of the apacolypse, Death. Ichabod also frequently references a bible that he was buried with. There is also talk of witchcraft and demons at work. We also get to see Ichabod’s lovely wife, whom we find out is a witch who’s coven was tasked to keep the Horseman and his head away from one another. She is now trapped in the woods by a demon that has summoned the Headless Horseman back to Sleepy Hollow.
I almost forgot to mention that Orlando Jones also makes an appearance as a very shady detective. He’s actually creepier than the Horseman.
The Horseman also gets a major weapon upgrade towards the end of the episode. He’s not just playing with a broad ax anymore.
Now for the review. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I really can’t think of a single thing to gripe about.
The casting is fantastic, Tom Mison really sells the roll of Ichabod Crane. I am not sure who plays the Horseman, but he is a really intimidating character. His movements remind me a lot of Kane Hodder’s movements as Jason Voorhees in the late (and better parts in my opinion) installments of the Friday the 13th films.
The script and story line for ‘Sleepy Hollow‘ were exquisitely written and well thought out. This may be one of the best written shows I have seen yet this year.
The effects and costume departments also deserve quite a bit of recognition for their roles in this series. The effects were visibly stunning and the costumes, especially the costumes for the Revolutionary War times, were fantastic.
I was also impressed with the actual level of blood and gore that was shown. It’s not quite on the same level as The Walking Dead, but for being on such a mainstream channel, it was impressive.
I also enjoy the levels of magic and darkness that the writers have brought in. It gives the story more meaning and really helps develop a better back story.
My favorite parts though have to be of Ichabod coming to terms with how everything has changed. It is so entertaining and really well written.
I will caution that you must pay attention or you will get seriously lost. There are a lot of flashback sequences, subtle tweaks to the original ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow‘ and a lot of back story that could be easily missed if you aren’t paying attention.
All in all, ‘Sleepy Hollow‘ is very suspenseful and is shaping up to be quite a great series. I know I am keeping it on my watch list.
Catch ‘Sleepy Hollow‘ Monday nights on Fox at 9pm EST.