Next on Netflix: Real life horror
Most horror movies try to play on your fears by saying that it’s based on a true story. Sometimes, that statement is pretty accurate.
“The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” for instance, is based on the real exorcism and death of a German girl named Anneliese Michel, but usually it’s just a hook.
So where do you go to find the real thing? You go to a documentary.
“Cropsey” examines the links between the Staten Island urban legend of Cropsey and the true disappearances and murders of children in the area.
Cropsey was a boogeyman who supposedly roamed the grounds of an abandoned school for disabled children.
The school had been shut down due to the horrific conditions its patients faced, but some patients and staff supposedly never left. And as it turned out, the prime suspect in the case of a missing girl with Down Syndrome was a man named Andre Rand who had, in fact, previously worked at the school, and who lived on the grounds after the school closed.
The documentary, which begins as a recounting of the Cropsey legend, narrows in on Rand’s case. How many other children went missing in the area of where Rand was staying? How many of them had he abducted? What is legend, and what is the truth?
The filmmakers behind “Cropsey” didn’t just research the case, they reached out to Rand, hoping to get an interview.
Though Rand responded, he ultimately canceled their interview at the last minute, leaving some of his mysteries unsolved.
Many of the bodies have never been found, which only serves to make the story sadder and more frightening.
With all the witches, demons and ghosts that the Halloween season stirs up, it’s easy to forget how horrifying people can be, and how the documentation of a true story can be even scarier than a movie based on one.