Cropsey (2009)

cropsey poster 2009 documentary movie
7.0 Overall Score

Interesting trial documentary

Doesn't effeciently tie-in the Cropsey mythos

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Cropsey

Studio:  Antidote Films

Genre(s):  Documentary

Release Date(s):  June 4, 2009

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Is this a child killer?

The children around Staten Island have told stories of Cropsey and the story has fueled fears for years.  When Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio decide to seek out the origins of their boogeyman, they learn of stories of disappearing children and their ties to a man named Andre Rand.  With Rand finally going on trial for the murder of a child, the victim’s families might finally find peace or is Rand only a scapegoat?

Directed by Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio, Cropsey was a documentary that made the rounds at many festivals.  The film received very positive reviews.


A scene of horror?

Cropsey has some origin in horror…Cropsey was the boogeyman of many children on the East Coast.  Little did they know that a real boogeyman was living among them…snatching handicap children from their homes, killing them, and hiding their bodies.  This is an interesting study of how real horror can be worse than even rumors, and how society must find someone to punish…even if some of the evidence is in question.

The movie does have some focus issues.  The film initially sets out to find an origin to the Cropsey myths, but ends up focusing on this trial of an alleged child killer.  On the path to that study, they have to investigate the land where the bodies might be hidden (an appearance by Geraldo as a young reporter) and the searchers…it gets a bit off course.


One of the potential victims

The filmmakers seem to take the side of “innocent until proven guilty” and are looking for anything to show that Rand might be the scapegoat of a society that needs resolution.  When Rand demands that they come out in favor of him, Zeman and Bancaccio back off however.

Despite their efforts to search for evidence that Rand is just a patsy, the filmmakers (in my opinion) seem to damn him more.  A lot of the witness do feel a like hearsay and rumors, but other witnesses like the minister who gave Rand shelter when the charges were popping up, seems legitimate (he said Rand told him that he had killed).  The trial does feel a bit of a sham, but I don’t know that the filmmakers’ agenda really provides a balanced presentation of the case.

Cropsey is an interesting film about a trial and murder.  It isn’t however a film that gets to the roots of urban myth as I hoped.  Yes, the mythic Cropsey and Rand share qualities, but calling the film Cropsey seems a bit out of place since the filmmakers didn’t tie-in the mythos enough to the case.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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