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.
The film is eerie and thought-provoking, raising worthwhile questions about the pursuit of justice without losing compassion for the victims or their families.
| Original Score: 3/4
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.
| Original Score: 7/10
As intriguing as it is downright eerie.
| Original Score: 4/5
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.
Nothing is answered definitively here. But if there's a real Cropsey to be found, it may be Staten Island itself.
Disturbing and flavorful.
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.
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.
A crude episode of 48 Hours.
As a clever combination between truth and fiction, it's a rather impressive little film. Creepy too.
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.
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.
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.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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.
The best, scariest mysteries don't have definitive answers, and Cropsey becomes a Zodiac-style whodunit of the spookiest order.
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.
| Original Score: C
A documentary that delves into what happens when the ghost stories you told as kids, the stuff of urban legends, seem to come true.
... 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.
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.