If you lived in the NYC Metro area in 1987, you may remember the media blitz that surrounded the search for a missing 12-year-old Staten Island girl with Down syndrome named Jennifer Schweiger. The frenzy only escalated with the grisly discovery of her remains near an abandoned Staten Island mental institution called Willowbrook. And the intersection of this crime, the disappearances of four other local children, and a popular neighborhood urban legend about a kid-killing maniac named "Cropsey" is the subject of a gripping new documentary of the same name by directors Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zemon opening tonight at NYC's IFC center. This flick is great no matter where you see it, but if you'd like to creep yourself out completely, you can also check the film out tomorrow on the campus of the College of Staten Island as part of the Staten Island Film Fest. What's so creepy about that you ask? Well, the school just so happens to be built on the spot where Willowbrook once stood. So if you're into site-specific thrills, tomorrow is the time to see this daring doc.
Emily Rems is a feminist writer, editor, rock star, playwright, and occasional plus-size model living in New York’s East Village. Best known as managing editor of BUST magazine, Emily is also a music and film commentator for New York’s NPR affiliate WNYC, and is the drummer for the horror-punk band the Grasshoppers. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the anthologies Cassette from my Ex and Zinester’s Guide to NYC, and her short stories have been published in Rum Punch Press, Lumen, Prose ‘N Cons Mystery Magazine, Writing Raw, and PoemMemoirStory. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for fiction in 2015 and is working on a novel. Follow her on Twitter @emilyrems.