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Cropsey – 7

Director – Barbara Brancaccio, Joshua Zeman

Cast – As Themselves

Release Year – 2009

Reviewed by John of the Dead

Cropsey was a very interesting experience for me because it marked the first time I viewed a documentary horror film based on REAL events.  The object is not so much to scare the viewer as it is to make us aware of an engaging and creepy set of crimes that plagued a community for decades, and thanks to good execution I found this horror-docu to be a very worthwhile effort that I recommend to you.

Throughout their childhood Zach and Barbara were bombarded with tales of a grisly killer named Cropsy, a man who lurked in the woods and killed children who wandered away from home.  Eventually five children from a single community near “Cropsy’s woods” went missing over the years, and Zach and Barbara investigate into whether or not the man charged with the crimes is the Cropsey that plagued their nightmares years ago.

At first I was not sure whether or not what I was seeing was fictional or in fact a telling of a real crime, and sure enough I was pleased to see that for once we were given real events.  Real events tend to make a story scarier (so long as it really is scary) due to the fact that it shows such acts could really happen to anyone, anywhere, and while I never found this story scary it did provide some decent creep and lots of engaging material.  It never really felt like a “movie” but actually did come off with a documentary feel and used real archive footage to sell its point.  The film may bring back painful memories for those who resided in Staten Island, New York during the series of child disappearances and the eventual trial of their alleged kidnapper, Andre Rand.  On another note, it may also bring back memories for fans of the 1981 horror classic, The Burning, whose antagonist was also named Cropsey and started off as an urban legend that was all-too-real for his victims.  Conveniently, Andre Rand was a very creepy and psychotic looking man, and his appearances helped bring on the creepiness provided in the film.  Did he do it?  That is the question and focus of this piece, which not only shows how the media can depict someone as guilty with no physical evidence, and how impulsive and emotional behavior leads a community on a hunt for justice at any cost, but aims to find a link between Andre Rand and the urban legend of Staten Island, Cropsy.

Overall, Cropsey is a positive documentary that for once actually gives us a real documentary into horrific events.  The horror is not outright and lies mostly in the actions of the purposed “Cropsey”, but despite that this effort comes well written and well executed to make for an engaging and worthwhile experience.

Rating: 7/10

  1. April 3, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    I thought that it was a pretty good film as well. Not great, but entertaining and pretty creepy. Not sure I’ve ever really seen another film like it. It truly did have moments where I wasn’t sure if it was legit or fiction.

    • April 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Yeah at times I felt the same way regarding it being fiction or not, but after doing a little research it seems at least most of it was real.

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