Well this was a pretty mixed bag of emotions for me – I don’t really know where to start! This is not really in the Found Footage domain but rather the Documentary Horror section. It’s a film about the Staten Island cropsey killer and it is delivered well for a reason – it is not fiction…..
I’m always excited to find a new Found Footage film that I new nothing about and this is what happened with Cropsey. The film seemed very impressive at first and very professionally laid out – most mockumentary films were not of this standard!
I was also pretty impressed by the realistic nature of the acting and the news reports they came out with…..turns out this was for a reason!
Yeah it’s a True Story!
It took a while to hit me but this was indeed a real life documentary linking Andre Rand to the Staten Island cropsey killer. Andre Rand worked in the Willowbrook State School for the mentally handicapped on Staten Island. Now Williowbrook was not a nice place – as we see in the movie.
The documentary shows footage of a old news report by Geraldo Rivera and it’s quite disturbing. All the children are naked and rolling around in their own mess and abuse was apparently common place.
Thanks god this footage got out as Willowbrook was shut down shortly after. The crazy thing is that some of the staff and the inmates returned to the abandoned asylum to live there! I know it starts to sound like a Grave Encounters sequel but this really did happen!
This is where our Staten Island cropsey killer ended up living – in the tunnels below Willowbrook with the other unfortunate homeless.
The Staten Island Cropsey Killer?
So this brings us to the man himself – Andre Rand. The documentary asks whether he really is the Staten Island cropsey killer or not?
Well he seems to fit the Staten Island legend! Cropsey was an urban legend on Staten Island blamed for abducting various children. It was a campfire legend more than anything but how much of it was based on truth?
Already convicted of sexual abuse against a minor, Andre Rand attracted the attention of searchers after the disappearance of Jennifer Schweiger – a young girl who suffered from Down Syndrome.
The searchers came across Rand as he sat by a campfire in the abandoned grounds of Willowbrook. He was quickly arrested as a suspect and them also accused of being linked to the disappearance of another young girl – Holly Ann Hughes.
I know what you’re thinking – this ain’t really horror is it? Well I disagree slightly – if you watch the film you will get a general creepy feeling throughout. There are sections of the film in the Found Footage format as the filmmakers search through the abandoned Willowbrook.
If anything I would say the film is even more frightening than traditional Found Footage films as it’s all real – this harrowing stuff actually happened!
There is mention of devil worshiping being involved with the Staten Island cropsey killer but the documentary does not center on that for to long.
Well I was a little disappointed with the film overall but this was not down to it’s quality. I had sat down late that night to watch ( and review ) a Found Footage horror flick. My partner was in bed and I had the whole place to myself – nice!
I was then confronted with the story of the Staten Island cropsey killer. This was not a bad thing – I knew nothing of the subject before hand and I know plenty about it now! It’s just that it’s not what I was wanting – I was after jerky camera work and female screams that were way to loud ( causing me to desperately grab for the TV remote! ).
It’s a good film – I’m sure about that, but it’s for the more intelligent Found Footage fans ( sometimes I don’t quite qualify as one of them myself! ). It’s brilliantly put together and it’s very creepy – the whole idea of the Staten Island cropsey killer is a terrifying one!
The best way I can put it is this:
– If you are looking for a Blair Witch styled film then pass this up!
– If you are looking for some ‘real life’ Found Footage then this is for you!
If you have seen this Staten Island cropsey killer movie and have a view on it please leave it in the comment section below. Actually – if you have any sort of view on this subject please feel free to leave it in the comment section below. See you soon!