This three-part Netflix documentary follows a group of online justice seekers that are able to track down a person they deem responsible for killing kittens, only to discover that the actions of the perpetrator quickly become more twisted and sinister as the story progresses. A really good documentary that leaves you wanting more, despite the disturbing and eerie nature of the subject. It’s worth noting that this review was based solely on the show I watched at the time and not the true story it was based off.
I was extremely close to giving this documentary a miss as I didn’t feel the subject was something I’d be able to stomach for the full 3 hour duration – with that being said, I found myself looking at the clock late one night, quickly realising I’d sat through the entire documentary in just one sitting… The way the director chooses to tell the story was quite simply brilliant, parts of information would trickle out towards you at just the correct moments but then all of a sudden another part is exposed, thus leaving you questioning what you think you know and more importantly what the characters involved in the story know. It takes many twists and turns but one thing is for sure, it draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the closing stages.
The documentary on a whole is most certainly not for the faint hearted and it’s not something I’ll be recommending to family or friends as it’s disturbing in many absurd ways – even when most of the distressing parts of the footage are hidden from the viewer. It follows a group of vigilantes that manage to find and unearth the identity of a man that has been posting videos online of him torturing and killing animals, before moving on to humans later down the line.
The perpetrator (Luka Magnotta) was painted as a sick and twisted individual that craved fame from the moment he was born and as the story unraveled, you began understanding why this man could have done the things he had done after learning about his past and understanding his family background. To me, Luka didn’t seem real at all – he struck me as an individual with sociopathic tendencies that craved and needed attention just to get by. There were many troubling aspects of the story but one that stood out particularly for me was the way in which Anna Yourkin (Luka Magnotta’s Mother) spoke about her own son – a lady in denial who couldn’t comprehend the things that he had been accused of.
There’s certainly some problems with the documentary on a whole however, many viewers picking up on the fact that the creators failed to reveal the identity of a person in one of the vile videos that Luka created and also the insulting way in which the makers decided to end the tale by having one of the primary interviewees asking whether or not we the viewer are complicit in making this man into the serial killer he eventually became. The phrase “biting the hand that feeds you” springs to mind…
Overall an extremely troubling yet intriguing documentary that raises lots of challenging questions about the internet, social media and the vigilante justice mentality.