DVD Review - Cropsey
Cropsey is an urban legend, not unlike Michael Meyers or Freddy Krueger. Except, Cropsey is a story that spread around Staten Island. What was considered only a myth took on an air of reality when children started to go missing in the 1980s in the Willowbrook area. One of those children was a little girl named Jennifer Schwieger. Her body was eventually found and circumstantial evidence pointed to a homeless man and former worker of the Willowbrook State School, a mental instituition for children. That man was Andre Rand and for many people he took on the moniker of "Cropsey."
Directors Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio began to correspond with Rand while he was in prison and while he was also on trial for another missing little girl named Holly Ann Hughes. The problem is the body of Holly Ann was never found, so no physical evidence was available. The only things available were sketchy eye-witnesses. What Zeman and Brancaccio show is that having no physical evidence doesn't matter. The family of the missing girl and the community want closure and they want justice, so Rand's fate is pretty much sealed. There is no way in this situation to separate facts from folklore.
I will say that Rand bares a striking resemblance to George Romero, the director of Night of the Living Dead, the famous zombie movie. This movie doesn't have monsters, but it does create a creepy sense of space. From the woods to the abandoned institutes intercut with the news footage of the Willowbrook disgrace and shots of what are presumed to be Satanic churches makes Staten Island seem like one of the scariest places you'd ever want to visit.
Four Stars out of Five.
Not Rated But Recommended for Mature Audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 24 mins.