What is “Cropsey?”

Urban legends are nothing new. Almost every town has one to call their own. But sometimes a legend has roots in reality. Maybe that’s the case with Cropsey?

Growing up on Staten Island, children had often heard the legend of ‘Cropsey.’ For the kids in their neighborhood, Cropsey was the escaped mental patient who lived in the old abandoned Willowbrook Mental Institution, who would come out late at night and snatch children off the streets. Sometimes Cropsey had a hook for a hand, other times he wielded a bloody axe. Cropsey was always out there waiting to get them.

Later as teenagers, filmmakers Joshua and Barbara assumed Cropsey was just an urban legend: a cautionary tale used to keep them out of those abandoned buildings. That all changed in the summer of 1987 when a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome, named Jennifer Schweiger, disappeared from their community. That was the summer all the kids from Staten Island discovered that their urban legend was real.

Now as adults Joshua and Barbara have returned to Staten Island to create Cropsey, a feature documentary that delves into the mystery behind Jennifer and four additional missing children. The film also investigates Andre Rand, the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances. Embarking on a mysterious journey into the underbelly of their forgotten borough, these filmmakers uncover a reality that is more terrifying than any urban legend.

Without digging too deeply into the subject, there doesn’t seem to be much information on the net regarding the subject of Cropsey, but there is plenty of stuff on convicted killer, Andre Rand. The trailer tries to play on the audience’s consciousness of fear and ends up looking like a bad episode of “Ghost Hunters.” The details of the case and what really happened on those streets in the late 80’s is more interesting to me than investigating something that is obviously no more than an urban legend. So if it sticks with that and doesn’t try to give us too much “Blair Witchiness”, I think this could be a potentially interesting a worthwhile look at a (serial?) killer and the grip of panic he held on the area.

We’ve stuck the trailer beneath the seats here; plus, the Official site has all sorts of crazy and highly detailed information on the subject if you’re interested further.
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Review: Paranormal Activity

ParanormalActivityPoster

Directors: Oren Peli
Screenplay: Oren Peli
Producers: Jason Blum, Oren Peli
Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 86 min.

Call it “the little movie that could,” Paranormal Activity is the talk of the town. A home made film shot in six days for $15,000 and grossing $62 million (and counting), it’s the type of success story studios pine for. The bubble grew with word of mouth screenings in college towns across the US and in combination with a slow burn release, the film has certainly come along way from its little debut at Screamfest.

ParanormalActivityStillMicah and Katie have an uninvited guest haunting their home. After a visit from an “expert,” they discover that it’s not the house that is haunted but rather that Katie is being followed around by some sort of evil spirit. Micah thinks the so-called-experts are all wacky and manages to convince Katie that the way to deal with the problem is to set up a video camera to record the sleeping couple and perhaps catch some sort of evidence which will yield an explanation; the film is a combination of the night time footage and the arguments which grow with frequency and intensity as the night time events become ever more disturbing.

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DiCaprio A Busy Man: Little Red Riding Hood & Brave New World

Goth Little Red Riding HoodLeonardo DiCaprio is on a roll.

Earlier today it was announced that DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way has been developing a new take on “Little Red Riding Hood.” David Leslie Johnson, who recently wrote the script to Orphan, has been brought on board to adapt the story and take it in a darker, Gothic direction. It’s still early in production but the thought of a dark take on Red Riding Hood which doesn’t end in Disney fashion is deeply appealing and considering how dark the original takes on this tale are, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

Hot on the heels of those great news, comes another announcement regarding Mr. DiCaprio and his production company.

You may recall that early last year news broke that DiCaprio and Universal Studios were in talks with Huxley’s estate to purchase the rights to Aldous Huxley’s novel “Brave New World.” In the end, Universal and DiCaprio were successful in their bid and rumours abounded that Ridley Scott was on board to direct while DiCaprio would star in the role of John the Savage. In an interview a few months later, Ridley Scott commented on the status of the production essentially confirming what we already knew, that in a production of this magnitude, things will be taken slowly and it didn’t sound like the film had even attached a writer. Now, nearly a year since the last update, we have more news.

Brave New World Book CoverTHR’s Risky Business Blog reports that the production has brought Apocalypto scribe Farhad Safinia onborad to adapt the story. I’m a bit concerned about this announcement. Yes, it would have been nice to see a more established writer take on the duties but it’s not as if this is Safinia’s first job on the other hand, that first job was for a film which was mostly silent and I can almost guarantee that when anyone thinks of Apocalypto, the last thing on their minds is the story (hello breathtaking chase sequences through the jungle!). I’m not writing him off but I also don’t think this is news to jump up and down about.

This is only the first writer. For all we know, this project could go through a few more before it even begins shooting, which will be when exactly? Pick a number between 1 and 100: at the moment Scott has so many films in development this one could be ten years away.