The tale of Cropsey comes from a real person, named Andre Rand who kidnapped and killed at least three young girls (possibly more), although he was not the first origins of the name, but the most infamous, and it inspired the 1981 horror film The Burning. However, in 2009 a very good documentary on the subject exploring the exploits of Rand, in the film called Cropsey. Nevertheless, The Cropsey Incident directed and written by Julian Grant now available on digital and DVD comes from Wild Eye Releasing, first has no chance of ever finding it in any comparison to the documentary. Rather Grant’s movie falls into the found-footage subgenre as it fixates on a so-called group of social justice maniacs hamming it up on cameras for there is social presence all on an incredible small budget and clocking in at 85-minutes, which include lengthy credits. Noting a few moments, it switches to a slasher picture with little references to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and a painful Sid Haig homage.
The storyline follows a group of online social justice activists called H.A.T.E (Humans Against Tyranny Everywhere) which the members dress in a flurry of colors, Orange, Pink, Yellow, Blue (Terry Bell, Rinska Carrasco, Brandon Galatz, Hannah Phelps, respectively). This so-called activist group does more violent displays, questioning why anyone would follow them, and possibly they contain all the hate, their attitudes align with some of the serial killer mentalities found on Criminal Minds. A poor display of personal arguments all appear very forced, nothing quite natural, they also appear to terrorize individuals for the own conquests. Their intention to raise money for their courageous tasks, which dissolves from live action into a cartoonish appearance and then back to uneven pitched voices, all clamoring for more attention, as if anyone actually paying any interest to them. Soon enough, the group leaves the urban life and supposedly venture deep into the woods to find the legendary Cropsey (Nathanael Card), which really starts looking like The Burning’s killer, for their fame driven hatred will more vicious screaming profanity laced tirades, all while wearing the bright colors. They attempt to use the legend by uncovering evidence (likely the person) of recent gruesome ritual murders, leading them to humiliate, and torture an unfortune drunken homeless person, yet still need to survive a killing spree. Sadly, none of this really works together, a few moments of expanding perhaps into an obsessed social whoring group never gets out of the low gear and discover new territory, just more endless dialogue failings, which struggle to bring the story forward.
Grant’s film consists of a few problems, pass mere low production values, for every good stage seen, three works as well, as well as using poorly crafted stage props. The logic of the script fails greatly, in the independent market of horror films, the screenplays often contain a logical hole, which most can pass over for the exchange of entertainment, but when that’s not available then the structure of the story crumbles too. The character construction also presents a lack of compelling enjoyment for the viewers, not to mention the dreadful choice of camera angles. A note, the angles need not just of kilter, but rather contain a measure of impact, Alfred Hitchcock among many others have consisting done this with characters, but only when the psychological imbalance required to advance the feel of the film, not just amateurish desire daring for something different.
The name of the title, misleading, the incident likely in this case, the movie itself, as the overall acting leaves the film wallowing in pain. If one wants to venture into this wretched this mess, then be forewarned 10-minutes might become your absolute limitation, as a reviewer I watched the entire movie, and tried to avoid the pause/stop button.
IMDb Rating: 2/10
Baron’s Rating: 2/10