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Cropsey (2009)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 4

Riveting and bone-chillingly creepy, Cropsey manages to be one of the best documentaries and one of the best horror movies of the year.


Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 0

Riveting and bone-chillingly creepy, Cropsey manages to be one of the best documentaries and one of the best horror movies of the year.



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 1,893

My Rating

Movie Info

Staten Island filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio reveal how an urban legend conjured up to keep kids from exploring abandoned buildings became a horrifying reality when a mysterious drifter began abducting children in their tight-knit urban neighborhood. Growing up, Zeman and Brancaccio were deluged with terrifying tales of Cropsy, a murderous mental patient prone to snatching children off the streets and taking them to the derelict buildings that were once part of the Willowbrook




Josh Zeman

May 10, 2011


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All Critics (41) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (4) | DVD (1)

Disturbing and flavorful.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cropsey is a creepy documentary with all the elements of a horror film about a demented serial killer, and an extra ingredient: This one is real.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This disturbing true-crime documentary takes its name from a local bogeyman that video makers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio were warned about when they were growing up on Staten Island.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A documentary that delves into what happens when the ghost stories you told as kids, the stuff of urban legends, seem to come true.

July 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story of the unsolved abductions and the man who might have become the scapegoat for a community is troubling enough. No big-screen trickery is required.

July 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cropsey has all the trappings of a true-crime TV special, but with an undercurrent of cultural exposition that is intelligent, profound and unsettling.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The filmmakers overreach trying to explain the meaning of a community's revulsion and rush to judgment regarding the man convicted of one of the murders, but Cropsey still gets under your skin.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Oregonian

The film is eerie and thought-provoking, raising worthwhile questions about the pursuit of justice without losing compassion for the victims or their families.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Whether they're interviewing so-called experts or casual observers -- or even reading from Rand's letters -- Zeman and Brancaccio confront fear, disappointment, and hope, again and again.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: PopMatters

As intriguing as it is downright eerie.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

It isn't a pleasant journey -- nor one that is likely to be soon forgotten -- though it is a sobering, skillfully produced reminder that sometimes fact can be far more terrifying than fiction.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Nothing is answered definitively here. But if there's a real Cropsey to be found, it may be Staten Island itself.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A crude episode of 48 Hours.

January 21, 2011 Full Review Source: House Next Door | Comment (1)
House Next Door

As a clever combination between truth and fiction, it's a rather impressive little film. Creepy too.

January 9, 2011 Full Review Source: FEARnet

Films like The Blair Witch Project use a fake documentary format to try and create a horror film about an urban myth that turns out to be real. Cropsey, though, is the real deal.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source:

As disturbing as the expertly paced Cropsey is, it's not some schlocky spookfest. It's a well-produced and well-researched bit of investigative journalism.

September 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

Begins as the documentation of a terrible legend, but evolves into a true story of a monster, and that's what makes Cropsey downright frightening.

August 13, 2010 Full Review Source:

Brancaccio and Zeman don't offer any easy answers, merely throwing all of the many issues of the story of Cropsey into a melting pot of danger, terror, and secrecy.

August 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Retriever
Movie Retriever

The best, scariest mysteries don't have definitive answers, and Cropsey becomes a Zodiac-style whodunit of the spookiest order.

August 2, 2010 Full Review Source:

The conceptual, even poetic inquiry that percolates in the opening scenes gives way to flat-footed and unresolvable detective work that makes the filmmakers too important.

July 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

... the stuff of horror films, and the way it folds back into the idea of how the Cropsey stories spread... that's the stuff that Cropsey does best.

July 10, 2010 Full Review Source: HitFix

Audience Reviews for Cropsey

This was a chilling doc about a series of child murders. It's scary to see all of the history behind it. The location is eerie and the people we meet are just as off putting sometimes. Well shot and well put together.
June 20, 2011

Super Reviewer

Noncommittal presentation of the events surrounding the disappearance of several children in Staten Island, New York. Cropsey doesn't pretend to know all the answers, but it certainly asks all the right questions. Creepy and compelling.
December 12, 2010
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

I was expecting more of urban legends in general and this movie is more of a story that narrows in on one suspect for crimes committed over two decades. It is still ok....but the descriptions were misleading.
November 29, 2010

Super Reviewer

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