Cropsey - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cropsey Reviews

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January 12, 2017
Touching, creepy and criminologically interesting
½ December 5, 2016
A chillingly effective documentary. A documentary that delves into what happens when the ghost stories you told as kids, the stuff of urban legends, seem to come true. 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. 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. Cropsey is compelling as a meditation on how we use stories to explain the inconceivable, and how if no story is handy, we take the available clues and make one up. The film is eerie and thought-provoking, raising worthwhile questions about the pursuit of justice without losing compassion for the victims or their families. 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. 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. 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.

VERDICT: "High-Quality Stuff" - [Positive Reaction] This is a rating to a movie I view as very entertaining and well made, and definitely worth paying the full price at a theatre to see or own on DVD. It is not perfect, but it is definitely excellent. (Films that are rated 3.5 or 4 stars)
½ October 23, 2016
In the creepy locales of Staten Island is believed to be buried the bodies of several children that were allegedly kidnapped throughout '70's and '80's. While the directors of "Cropsey," Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman, to both their and our frustration, never find the victims or convince Andre Rand, the main suspect, to speak to them, they do learn, in trying to distinguish fact from folklore, that humankind is quick to obscure a story and sway the minds of others without providing the necessary evidence. That is terrifying.
September 9, 2016
Cropsey is an appropriately chilling true crime doc that lacks an interview with center puzzle piece Andre Rand. He's too distant to be intriguing, just an average creep. But the filmmakers make up for that with a vivid depiction of Staten Island, a truly bizarre borough.
½ July 13, 2016
It's like they had a really cool idea for a documentary, but none of what they expected to happen happened.
July 2, 2016
Creepiest true-crime documentary ever!!
½ June 6, 2016
A well-done documentary on an urban legend turned real. [B]
April 3, 2016
Very well done crime documentary that gives you a real life boogeyman. If you liked "Making a Murderer", I highly recommend this film to you.
½ January 20, 2016
it is just purely disturbing and chilling that this actually happened, there is no doubt that they could make a real movie out of this the footage of the mental institution will haunt me for a long time. makes me sick the way the mentally challenged were treated. incredibly documentary though
½ January 18, 2016
Although the content was good, I did find thst it came across as quite boring
November 21, 2015
I found this documentary on Netflix after trying to find some good true crime documentaries on Netflix and this one had some horror aspects as well. The documentary is pretty creepy for the most part and there are some twists that you don't really see coming. That being said, the film isn't made particularly well and seems kind of shot like The Blair Witch Project (maybe they should have marketed this different and it could have been popular).
October 25, 2015
a terrifying, disturbing, superbly eerie, atmospheric documentary film that works as a bone chilling horror film and an extremely well crafted documentary that shows that fact is truly scarier than fiction.
½ September 22, 2015
One of the best docmentaries I've seen in a while. Sets the tone very well, research and presentation is just top notch and leaves a chill given the subject matter.
September 12, 2015
A pair of filmmakers delve into the legend of a childkiller whose exploits have inspired at least a couple of films, and the results are pretty damned watchable.

Well worth a look.
August 30, 2015
Very interesting and creepy.
July 20, 2015
Whilst the mood and production of this documentary is great and really interesting it's basically about nothing. The film starts off examining the urban legend on Staten Island of a murderous figure known as Cropsey it then shifts to investigating the true story of a child muderer called Andre Rand. It never really links the two threads together successfully though and it never really reveals any new material in order to be investigative. It's just a nice looking and nice presented doc, that doesn't really work long term in your memory though.
June 19, 2015
An impressive documentary about a series of serial killings in Staten Island during the 70's and 80's, the story of Willowbrook School for children with intellectual disabilities and the social outcast André Rand is the stuff of nightmares. The style of the documentary grates somewhat but the story is so compelling, that it weathers that difficulty.
May 25, 2015
I'm a sucker for documentaries. As long as the story holds some appeal and the sound is well-mixed, I'm in. When I caught word of Cropsey, a factual documentary that focuses on the legend of Cropsey and the story behind the urban legend, I considered myself auto-signed up. Tme was not wasted in pursuing the film. Dumb luck saw Cropsey featured on Netflix Streaming, which made access all the easier.

No feet were dipped. I dove in, carefree.

And I loved it.

Cropsey is an east coast urban legend. It's basically the embodiment of evil, typically considered a mortal man, that targets children. But the origin of the legend actually has some wild depth to it, and filmmakers Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman leap into the folds of folklore, exploring the truths and the perpetuated rumors thoroughly and with conviction. What it all comes down to is a nightmarish stretch of years on Staten Island. Children went missing, mothers wept and a lunatic stalked the streets, predatory eyes in perpetual motion. It's frightening stuff, only made more frightening when the reality of it all truly sets in.

Brancaccio and Zeman do a good job of connecting the dots and seeing each and every investigative lead through. They're a passionate pair, and Zeman makes for a quality leader. The editing is generally strong (there are a handful of transitions that feel stretched, but that's really the only major technical mishap I spotted. The sound, one of the most crucial elements of the picture, is also quite even. It's well-mixed and rather crisp. Again, technically, Cropsey definitely passes with flying colors.

I'm a fan of the film. If you're a fan of documentaries, you're likely accustomed to the relatively slow pacing employed by the bulk of such pictures, and as a result won't mind Cropsey's measured movement. It's quite a compelling story, sad and frightening in equal measure while jarring in more than a single sequence. I love the thorough nature of the project, and I'll have my eyes open for future works from Zeman and Brancaccio. Cropsey comes highly recommended!

-Addicted to Horror Movies
½ April 18, 2015
Another good documentary. Nothing is creeper than a real horror story.
Super Reviewer
April 13, 2015
The good thing about this urban-legend-hunters documentary is that it is creepy and unsettling as hell, and it proves to be a fascinating blend of doc and horror film; the bad thing, however, is that the lack of answers is really frustrating and everything is left too inconclusive.
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