release year: 2004
viewing setting: home DVD, 12/17/05
synopsis: A descendant of Ichabod Crane must find a way to stop the Headless Horseman's murderous rampage.
impressions: This one was pretty good, which is saying something since I expected it to be pure cheese. It was all costumes and special effects - no CGI. There were plenty of main characters with interesting stories, plus some creepy music and cinematography. It's worth noting that there were only five deaths, and not much gore. Also, the Horseman actually did have a head - it looked like a rotting pumpkin with an evil face, and was actually creepy. I had a few plot questions (why did the Horseman show up this year but not any other? what's with the flaming-head trick he used only once? why would he kill one of a pair of mating teens and not kill the other? what the hell happened at the end?) but those aren't show-stoppers.
things to watch for: The second hay-ride was interesting, with some good background dialogue.
something this movie has that no other movie has: A headless horseman who throws flaming pumpkin-heads (even if he only did it once.)
acting: Kevin Zegers, Nick Carter, and Kaley Cuoco go great jobs as the good kid, the bad kid, and the love interest, respectively. Stacy Keach is good as the babbling old codger who no one believes, though this old codger actually has some helpful hints. Judge Reinhold plays the sports-obsessed dad of the good kid. Various other teens appear as victims.
final word: Worthwhile horror viewing.
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