Okay, so 3 isn’t an awful lot but I feel like it’s going to make me more efficient and when I like a lot of Tim Burton films it will make the decision a bit harder so you’ll see me suffer unwillingly. In addition to the slimmer selection of films, I’ve been told I have to rank them so right now I’m crying internally. Here we go.
3. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
One of the few films that Burton has had direct control over; writing, directing and producing the film, Edward Scissorhands was the first time I really became aware of Burton as a filmmaker. I’d seen some of his other films previously but after watching Edward Scissorhands I became a huge fan of his work. I think the major draw was that I’d just watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and had fallen in love with Johnny Depp’s quirkiness so to see him in an earlier role with a completely different character was amazing to me. Playing the strange and unfinished creation of an eccentric inventor, Depp takes on the role of Edward and brings an endearing weirdness to an outcast in an even weirder environment. As a Burton film I think I fell in love with it because I loved how he made even what was supposed to be ‘normal’ just as bizarre as what the ‘normal’ was viewing bizarre. The storyline feels like a fairytale narrative in the modern day with touching moments and hilarious characters. It is by every sense of the word a true Burton film and it has me in tears every time.
2. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
This Burton film has only recently become a favourite of mine, but saying that I’ve seen it only once and it already solidified itself as my second favourite. Despite its age I only ended up watching this film last year and I absolutely loved it. It’s a cross between a historical horror and a fairytale narrative, and is slightly more sinister than some of Burton’s other films. The majority of the film takes place at night and in a dim and dingy town, so if that doesn’t suggest the tone of the film I don’t know what else does. Again, starring Depp in a leading role, Sleepy Hollow tells the tale of Ichabod Crane, a New York detective, sent to the town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of murders. Sounds simple enough, but the town is adamant the murders were committed by a headless horseman. A real twisting narrative, Sleepy Hollow enjoys taking you on one pathway and then flips you on your head. With an eerie and creepy mood keeping you on your toes the entire time, Sleepy Hollow appealed to everything I love.
1. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
This is one of my absolute favourite films. Sweeney Todd combines two of my favourite film elements; musicals and Tim Burton. The darker of the three films, I love the contrast of musical with horror and despite having watched it so many times already, I will not be satisfied till I’ve seen it at least a hundred times more. Again, a Depp masterpiece I cannot emphasise my love of this film enough. The cast is brilliant, the characters they play are brilliant, the music is brilliant and the narrative ties everything together and keeps you at the edge of your seat the entire time. I have never watched a film that has kept me so tense the whole duration and left me so satisfied with a tragic ending. I have already written a full review on Sweeney Todd so I won’t go into too much detail but there was no contest for first place.