September 2000 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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DVD Review



Sleepy Hollow. starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci
  Pathé/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment P8986DVD   [105 mins]
Special Features include two documentaries (42 mins total) on the making of the film including a short commentary by Dany Elfman on his music
  Amazon UK    Amazon US

Regular visitors to this site will recall that our reviewers' panel voted that Danny Elfman's Sleepy Hollow score should receive Film Music on the Web's Award as 1999's Best Original Score. Now the film is out on DVD. Repeated viewing allows the opportunity to observe how well the score supports the film, enhancing the brooding, mist-laden atmosphere of the haunted Western Woods and the story's terror and black comedy. Rather than repeat ourselves, we append below the original soundtrack album review we published on this site.

The features offer a very interesting insight into the production of the film: director, Tim Burton's and his actors' comments, locations, set design, and special effects, especially the elaborate windmill construction and Depp's (no horseman he) realistic-looking mechanical horse.

From the point of view of Film Music on the Web, there is a brief section - too brief - dealing with Danny Elfman's music. Red-headed Elfman, comments to camera: "One of the nice things about working for Tim is that he never really talks in musical terms he always talks in terms of how something makes you feel." "…The power of a horror movies is that it hits you on an emotional level," agrees Burton. Elfman continues, "… the surreal quality of the landscape…dictated so much, as it often does in Tim's stories. I knew early on it was going to be "heavy", the shoot was going to be fun; and that I would have some fun with a lot of "low stuff". The scene where the horseman breaks into the family's house is quite chilling and the music had therefore to be really intense." The music recording sessions are shown and we get a glimpse of the huge orchestra that Elfman has employed for his thrilling, creepy score.

A very good package

Ian Lace



Ian Lace


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