How gruesome is the movie "Sleepy Hollow"? (unboxed spoilers)

I’m a Johnny Depp fan, but have never seen this movie. Since Blockbastard doesn’t carry it (at least none in my neighborhood), I just rented it via Video Library, and it will come in the mail by this weekend. Since ordering it, though, I learn that decapitations and gore abound in this film. I’m not much of a splatter flick fan; how would you rate it on the gruesomeness scale?

Using my personal grossout scale where, say, an anvil dropping on Wile E. Coyote is a 1 and the chainsaw sceen in Scarface is a 10, I’d give Sleepy Hollow about a 4.5. Did that help?

I never saw those rolling heads as anything more than props. The movie was kind of fun.

I’m not big on violence either, but I still enjoyed this film (& not merely because Depp is beautiful and his acting wonderful in it). The goriness was too cartoon-y to bother me. But there are some startling and tension producing scenes that could make you jump, or go “ew”. Let us know what you think.

I think you can handle it. It has a good mix of scary bits and humor. Good movie. Tim Burton is a good director.

I didnt think that was gross at all, all you see is a couple of heads rolling… literally.

Typically stylish and entertaining, even if I found the “mystery” pretty easy to figure out. I like it.

Well, there is that one scene where Depp cuts down an “evil” tree and gets hosed down with blood like he’s in some sort of bizarre Transylvanian version of an Alabama civil rights march. There’s a fair amount of gore in the film, but the movie isn’t a typical slasher “gore for gore’s sake” type of film.

I like Johnny Depp, too, but I hated this film just because of the gore factor. It was not even so much the heads rolling and blood spurting as the horror of things like little children being murdered.

If you’re particularly squeamish, I would look away during the Tree O’Death bits (you’ll see those coming a mile away) and a few other bits where there are little spurts of blood. None of these scenes are above a 3 or 4 on my 1-10 scale, but I can handle blood pretty well.

The grossest bit for me (I’d say it’s about a 6 or 7) was a part of his dream after he follows his parents down the long white hall into a room with a lot of metal…instruments. That still gives me the shivers.

The decapitations are pretty cartoon-y, I agree. You might be able to see the moment of transition from live-actor to mannequin head with fake blood, I can’t recall specifically.

Come to think of it, there are a lot of moments where squeamish folk might shy away…how much does it take to get you grossed out? There are some minimal blood scenes, as in people being injured, and then it leads up to the aforementioned “mother dream.” I suppose it’s all up to you, really. I watched it with a friend who was able to warn me of the parts that might gross me out, but I recall peeking and thinking nothing of it. You might react differently. Is it possible to watch it with someone who has seen it and can judge your potential reactions to each scene? That might be a good way to sit through it the first time.

Sorry I’ve been so vague, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. I’d say use your best judgement and enjoy. It’s a fantastic movie, but it won’t be if you’re nauseous halfway through. I say good luck to you, and happy vewing.

The decapitations are very clean, if that makes sense. I strongly doubt the movie will offend you. It’s gorgeously shot and Depp and Cristina Ricci are fantastic in it. One of my favorite Burton films.

Well, you get to see Casper van Dien sliced in half, which may be worth the price of rental in and of itself, depending on how you felt about Starship Troopers.

Not just sliced in half, Bryan–crinkle cut! Two sickcles=twice the fun!!

(I like to watch that bit with the DVD slowed waaaaay down; it’s such a cool motion and it goes by so fast.)

I’ve got it on DVD, and actually, the more I watch it, the gorier it seems. And there’s a whole lot of blood. Here’s a very spoilerific list of violent gory bits (that I can remember) if that’s any help:

wait for it…

  • About three (or is it four?) actual decapitations, where you see the head severed from the body
  • A sword being plunged into the top of a head
  • A guy completely cut in two
  • A dead woman falling from an Iron Maiden, full of holes
  • About three corpses, including a close up of a severed neck
  • A scary witch with eyes popping out of her head
  • Blood spurting out from tree
  • Loads of realistic-looking heads falling out of a tree root
  • A man kissing a woman and making her mouth bleed in the process
  • A woman cutting a deep wound into her palm
  • Skin growing over a skull, in slow motion
  • And, more disturbing than gory, a child being decapitated (you don’t see it on screen, though)

Blimey, I sound like that Capalert guy…

Don’t forget the autopsey scene.

Again, though, this is more of a “squirt…ewwwww” kinda moment than anything really graphic, and pretty much every single decapitation is completely bloodless. Those that aren’t are an off screen “splatter shot” sequence that really can’t offend. And the iron maiden scene really isn’t that bad. The “holes” are little make-up dots, and the blood is overexagerated “SPLASH!”, but no dripping, bloody corpse shot.

Overall, yes, there is gore, but it’s PG-13 gore, and I’m pretty sure you can handle it. Most of it’s very predictable as well, so you should be able to guard yourself well. It’s a great movie, nonetheless.

I was wondering if it would be okay for a 9 year old girl? I like to watch a good horror movie every year with my daughter, and want something scary, but not too adult. Any opinions?

I don’t recall it being gross at all. But it’s been awhile.

I thought it was a really cool movie. And if you’re looking for something that’s not TOO much, this certainly is one of the better choices there is, anyway.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I clearly remember watching it with my friends when it was in the theatres. We laughed our whole way through at the fakeness of it.

Thanks for the replies, everybody. It doesn’t sound too over the top for me; I mean, if I can watch the Alien movies, I suppose I can watch anything. Except Scarface, koeeoaddi.

As an aside observation, I note that if an actor is really really good, he can render a mildly scary scene absolutely horrifying. I still must turn my head when that alien larva jumps out of John Hurt’s chest, not because the effects are all that gruesome or realistic, but John Hurt’s acting is so convincing that I swear I can feel that critter in my own chest. And Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster still scares the bejesus out of me - just because of how he acts.

lost4life, I would use your own judgement on this one. I can’t say I would let just any 9 year old watch this movie, but if your daughter is not easily frightened or disturbed and you watch it with her I would say it’s probably ok. If she generally likes scary movies this one is not particularly bad. I knew the story of Sleepy Hollow at age 9 but I think this movie would have been a bit too much for me then. But I was easily frightened by movies (still am!)

I don’t like slasher movies either but I liked this one. There were a few ‘ewww’ moments for me but not unbearable or enough to make me not watch it again.

One element worth noting is that there is an awful lot of fainting in this movie. In a typical slashflick, the characters may witness horrific stuff, scream for a few seconds, and then shrug it off. Not Sleepy Hollow, though. When things get bad, Depp and Ricci hit the floor like Frenchmen hearing gunshots.