Terror rides again.
Running Time: 79 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: United States
Generally speaking, anyone with a pumpkin for a head is pretty difficult to take seriously just look at Frankie Muniz. So the legend of Sleepy Hollow despite being the subject of a pretty darn enjoyable Tim Burton effort back in 1999 has never been one of my favourite horror yarns.
In case anyone doesnt know, the original tale, as found in the novel by Washington Irving, is about said veggie-faced ghoul riding about on a horse chopping off the heads of all and sundry as he passes until, that is, he meets his match in the form of the spindly Ichabod Crane. Leap forward a few generations and you have the setting for The Hollow, a modern day teen slasher update on the fable.
In this one, we have Kevin Zegers as Ian, a new kid in town who just happens to be a distant relly of good ol Ichabod. He instantly takes the fancy of excruciatingly bubbly High School cheerleader Karen (Kaley Cuoco), much to the chagrin of her wannabe boyfriend Brody (Nick Backstreets back, ALRIGHT! Carter). In a particularly uninteresting series of events, Ian soon becomes the schools Pogo Patterson to Brodys Gripper Stebson, with Carter doing his best to put his saccharine boy-band background behind him and convince us all that he can play the hard man as well as anyone, honest. Thankfully, all this faux Dawsons Creek nonsense soon subsides to make way for the nitty-gritty, in the form of the horsemans re-appearance and the inevitable separation of heads from various bodies.
Running at less than 80 minutes, its mercifully short but it makes for possibly the most one-dimensional flick Ive ever seen, sticking rigidly to its linear formation and featuring not a single sub-plot. Its also woefully miscast: Zegers face spends the whole thing alternating between disinterest and embarrassment (youd think that if a ghostly horseman was trying to lop your noggin off, you might show a bit of emotion), Judge Reinhold (as Ians hard-to-please father) is far too likable a bloke to play the tyrant dad, and Nick Carter is well Nick Carter. Im willing to bet that if you cut him open, hed bleed thick, gloopy cheese spread. Of course, wed need to pay someone to do it in order to find out for sure, but Im pretty confident it would be well worth the hassle.
Im all in favour of silly, ham-fuelled horror (I was particularly partial to last years Decoys), but one of the main problems with The Hollow is that it cant decide whether it wants to go down that route or attempt to have us take it seriously. As a result, it achieves neither, not managing to come across as daft enough to provoke a laugh, and nowhere near good enough to obtain credibility.
It's Got: Shelley Bennett playing a girlie who wants her boyfriend to put the fun back in funeral and teach me the true meaning of boneyard (the first joke works quite well, but I cant for the life of me figure out what the second one means).
It Needs: To keep that horseman lurking in the shadows for longer. Lets face it, as soon as we get to see him, all chance of any viewer shaking in their shoes goes out the window.
DVD Extras A trailer, and thats your lot. Version reviewed: The Hollow  DVD Extras Rating: 1/10
Alternatives:Sleepy Hollow, Sleepy Hollow High, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (witty 1980 version with Jeff Goldblum as Ichabod!)
Hollow isnt just the title of this movie its also a pretty accurate description.