The Gripping Crime and Mystery Dramas We're Watching On Netflix Now
After binging the entire second series of Mindhunter in record time, I’m starting to wish I’d spaced it out better. Fortunately, Netflix has no shortage of crime thrillers to help scratch that insatiable (and let’s face it, kinda creepy) itch we all have for dark and sinister entertainment. Here’s a mix of fictional flicks and true crime docs that’ll make you want to keep the light on at night.
Starring Hollywood power players Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo, this thriller recounts a manhunt for a murderer known as The Zodiac Killer. The creepiest part? It's based on a true story and remains arguably the most infamous unsolved crime case in American history. This is one movie you'll want to sink your teeth into to see if you can piece together the mysterious messages and codes left behind by this cryptic criminal.
Shockingly, this gripping drama is based on true events that occurred between 2008-2011 in relation to serial rape cases in Washington and Colorado. The show's main character, Marie Adler is at first accused and subsequently charged for lying about her own rape. Without wanting to give anything else away, we'll just say prepare to devote a whole weekend to this one.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
The name says it all, really. Starring Zac Efron as serial killer Ted Bundy, this biographical crime thriller is as unsettling as the title suggests. Based off Elizabeth Kendall's memoir (who was Bundy’s girlfriend during some of his murder spree), The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, the film does a pretty good job of showing how sociopaths are able to convince themselves and everyone around them that they are innocent. This film should come with a warning, though: suddenly I’m suspicious of everyone.
If true crime weighs too heavy on your psyche and you’d rather get your crime fix from a fictional source, American anthology crime drama, The Sinner, is a good place to start. The first series, titled Cora, stars Jessica Biel in her most captivating role, whilst the second instalment tells the story of Julian, world’s creepiest 11-year-old cult member.
If you want your dose of murder served on the slightly comedic side, Noah Hawley’s black comedy anthology Fargo is your answer. Inspired by the Coen Brother’s award winning film of the same name, Fargo delves into the dark and mysterious lives of some of Minnesota’s quirkiest inhabitants. Also, the cast is insane: Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Ewan McGregor and Kirsten Dunst are but a few faces that appear over three seasons.
Between 1978 and 1995, a domestic terrorist by the name of Theodore John Kaczynski mailed and delivered homemade bombs throughout the US. For 17-years, he instilled panic and fear among Americans, killing three and injuring 23 others. If you’re looking for a thrilling but fictionalised look into the case and subsequent search, this miniseries starring Sam Worthington and Paul Bettany is a binge waiting to happen.
Exposed: The Case of Keli Lane
If true crime and documentary is more your thing—why not start with the case that continues to captivate Australia. Everybody has a theory about what Northern Beaches water polo player Keli Lane did with her newborn baby Tegan. In 2011, she was sentenced to 18 years in prison for her murder, though she maintains her innocence. In this three-part documentary series (which originally aired on the ABC) journalists Caro Meldrum-Hanna and Elise Worthington search for answers. Once you’ve finished watching, please do yourself a favour and join the Exposed Facebook Group. Armchair detectives gone wild.
Shadow of Truth
Speaking of online investigations, I’ll willingly confess that I spent at least five consecutive nights trawling the deep dark interweb searching for the identities mentioned in this documentary. This four-part docu-series follows the 2006 murder of Tair Rada, a 13-year-old Israeli girl who was murdered in her school bathroom. It’s a really chilling, goose bump inducing story that will leave you questioning everything—and scouring Reddit threads for days.
True crime series The Keepers had been floating around my suggested Netflix list for awhile before I finally dived in, and hoo-boy was I ill prepared for the ride. What starts as an investigation into the murder of Catholic high school teacher Sister Cathy Cesnik quickly turns into a sexual abuse high school cover up in the 1960s, lead by Brothers in the community.
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
Arguably the most famous missing child of all time, the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has captivated the world for over 12 years. This eight-episode series explores literally every theory, suspicion and piece of evidence presented in this unsolved case, yet still leaves you reeling for answers.
Time: The Kalief Browder Story
Kalief Browder’s story is such a gross miscarriage of justice that it’s honestly hard to get through this documentary without succumbing to fits of rage. Falsely accused of stealing someone’s backpack when he was just 16-years-old, Browder was left in limbo for 800 days in solitary confinement at Riker’s Island—New York’s notoriously rough jail. Warning: You’re going to need the tissues for this one.
Need more? Here are 9 mind-boggling facts you never knew about Mindhunter.