Cropsey (film)

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Theatrical Release Poster
Directed byJoshua Zeman
Barbara Brancaccio
Produced byJoshua Zeman
Barbara Brancaccio
Zachary Mortensen
Written byJoshua Zeman
Music byAlexander Lasarenko
CinematographyChad Davidson
Edited byTom Patterson
Antidote Films
Afterhours Productions
Ghost Robot
Off Hollywood Pictures (in association)
Distributed byCinema Purgatorio (theatrical)
Breaking Glass Pictures (2011, DVD)
Release date
  • June 4, 2009 (2009-06-04)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States

Cropsey is a 2009 American documentary film written and directed by Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio. The film initially begins as an examination of "Cropsey", a boogeyman-like figure from New York City urban legend, before segueing into the story of Andre Rand, a convicted child kidnapper from Staten Island.

In 2009, Cropsey premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, where programmer David Kwok stated; “the eeriness of the mystery pulsates through the film as they journey into the underbelly… as more information and clues unravel, Zeman and Brancaccio become more immersed in shocking surprises and revelations. The reality they uncover in this uniquely hair-raising documentary is more terrifying than any urban legend.”[1]


Upon shooting their research of the origins of the missing kids’ stories, Zeman and Brancaccio realized the truth did not dwindle into something concrete; instead, it expanded into something larger and convoluted, becoming an in depth investigation of five missing children’s stories. The objective was to bring the distinct elements into one overarching narrative: the oral tradition of urban legends; the mystery of the missing children; the courtroom drama; the search for the roots of Staten Island’s obsession with the case, the community’s need for catharsis.[citation needed]

When filming began, Zeman and Brancaccio sent Andre Rand a letter. After not receiving a response for approximately a month, they decided to visit him directly at Rikers Island. On the day they were going to Rikers, they received the reply. After a series of letter exchanges, Rand agreed to an interview. However, by the time the filmmakers arrived at the prison, Rand had changed his mind and declined.[citation needed]

Andre Rand’s court case did not start until four years after his indictment, which was one of the longest pre-trial motions in New York State history.[citation needed] The culmination of the film alludes to indicting Rand, which became controversial.[citation needed]


Cropsey received a 90% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.[2] Metacritic gave the film a score of 73 which is considered "generally favorable".[3]


  • Hammer to Nail: 2009 Tribeca’s Grand Jury Prize.[4]
  • IndieWIRE’s 2009 Best Undistributed Film list, Annual Critics Survey.[5]
  • Closing Night Film, SF Documentary Festival.[6]
  • Audience Award Winner, Staten Island Film Festival.[7]

See also[edit]

  • The Burning, a 1981 horror film based on the urban legend of Cropsey.
  • Madman, a 1982 horror film based on the urban legend of Cropsey.


  1. ^ David Kwok, Tribeca Film Festival Archived 2010-06-05 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Cropsey (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  3. ^ "Cropsey". Metacritic. Retrieved October 17, 2011.
  4. ^ Hammer to Nail Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Indiewire
  6. ^ SF Documentary Festival Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Staten Island Film Festival

External links[edit]