Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cropsey

 (2009) ****

First of all I should mention that this film is a documentary so all of the horrors within it are true. Filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio grew up on Staten Island hearing urban legend stories of ‘Cropsey.’ As the story goes, Cropsey was an escaped mental patient who lived in the old abandoned Willowbrook Mental Institution. Cropsey would snatch children off the streets if they weren’t careful. Parents would even sometimes tell their kids if they didn’t behave Cropsey would come to get them. However, the urban legend became all too real in the summer of 1987 when a 12-year-old girl with Down syndrome, named Jennifer Schweiger, disappeared from their community.

This film recounts the crimes and mystery of Andre Rand, the real life Cropsey and the despicable child disappearances connected to him. Of the five children who were reported missing spanning a number of years, only one body was actually recovered, that of Jennifer Schweiger. The filmmakers take us through the ruins of the old mental facility, the tunnels below the main building and the surrounding woods. The site is downright chilling, when one of the search party members finds a garbage bag containing a child’s pair of shoes and a roll of duct tape I felt the hairs on the back of my neck come to life. There is so much unanswered and so many different versions of what exactly went down with Andre Rand, of course he’s not talking at all. Some feel he was sort of like the homeless version of Rev Jim Jones. That he passed the children around through his community of vagabonds living in the tunnels. Some believe he handed them over to a satanic cult that was practicing human sacrifice. One reverend swears that Rand confessed to him saying he felt there was no right place in the world for the mentally challenged and so he was doing them a favor by taking them out. The only conclusion I came to is that the scariest monsters are the real ones. This film is gripping, incredibly creepy, disturbing and very well done. I really want to visit Staten Island now just to take a walk through that site. Just not alone and definitely not at night.

5 comments:

AC said...

absolutely agreed, the scariest monsters are the real ones.

Octopunk said...

Before I got to the end of the review, I was thinking "And the moral of the story is never go to Staten Island."

Cat? What are you doing...? You get off that ferry!

That picture is unreal. It looks like the ruins were overrun by the Martian weeds from War of the Worlds.

The Mr. said...

Yikers. Quite the find, Cat.

DCD said...

Yeah - that wasn't desroc...

JPX said...

I just can't stop saying the word "Cropsy".