I don't want to delve into why I'm so ~*drawn*~ to true crime stories. Seriously, let's not even go there. But I did want to know if other people love to watch unsettling documentaries as much as I do, so I asked fellow Cosmo Girls for their "most disturbing" finds on Netflix! Be warned: Some of these will definitely NOT let you sleep at night.
Here are 20 disturbing Netflix documentaries to add to your watch list:
1. Abducted In Plain Sight (2017)
The plot, according to Netflix: "In this true-crime documentary, a family falls prey to the manipulative charms of a neighbor, who abducts their adolescent daughter. Twice." Nikki shares, "Abducted in plain sight was just a whole lot of WHAT THE F," and Mignon adds, "Been years since I saw it but I'm still super bothered about it."
2. Misha And The Wolves (2021)
The plot, according to Netflix: "As a little girl, she escaped the Holocaust and lived among wolves. Or did she? An extraordinary story elicits sympathy—then draws scrutiny."
3. American Murder: The Family Next Door (2020)
The plot, according to Netflix: "Shanann Watts and her two young daughters went missing in Frederick, Colorado. As details of their deaths made headlines worldwide, it became clear that Shanann's husband, Chris Watts, wasn't the man he appeared to be. Experience a gripping and immersive examination of the disintegration of a marriage." Although the documentary dug into the story pretty well, there were some overlooked details which you can access here.
4. Night Stalker (2021)
The plot, according to Netflix: "Beneath the sunlit glamour of 1985 LA lurks a relentlessly evil serial killer. In this true-crime story, two detectives won't rest until they catch him." Warning: this documentary contains very graphic images and descriptions.
5. Children Of God (1994)
The plot, according to Netflix: "A former member examines the lingering effects of being raised in the Family, a cult whose disturbing practices include the sexual abuse of children." It's sooo disturbing that one Cosmo Girl, Jelena, said she wasn't able to finish it.
6. Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer (2019)
The plot, according to Netflix: "When a video is posted online of a mysterious man killing two kittens, internet users across the world leap into action to find the perpetrator. Encouraged by the attention he's receiving, the killer continues posting even more disturbing videos, eventually crossing into murder."
7. The Keepers (2017)
The plot, according to Netflix: "This docuseries examines the decades-old murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik and its suspected link to a priest accused of abuse." Here's a short + honest review from Marga: "Kaloka super, pero nakaka-disturb 'coz I'm a Catholic schoolgirl!"
8. Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel (2021)
The plot, according to Netflix: "From housing serial killers to untimely deaths, the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles is known to many as LA's deadliest hotel. The latest chapter in the Cecil's dark history involves the mysterious disappearance of college student Elisa Lam."
9. Evil Genius (2018)
The plot, according to Netflix: "This baffling true crime story starts with the grisly death of a pizza man who robs a bank with a bomb around his neck—and gets weirder from there."
10. Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (2019)
The plot, according to Netflix: "Present-day interviews, archival footage and audio recordings made on death row form a searing portrait of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy." Another case of *too disturbing* to finish: Monique shares she "was only able to watch a few episodes. Give up ako."
11. Three Identical Strangers (2018)
The plot, according to Netflix: "When three teenagers meet by chance and discover they're identical triplets separated at birth, they're delighted—until their true story emerges.
12. Tell Me Who I Am (2019)
The plot, according to Netflix: "After losing his memory at age 18, Alex Lewis relies on his twin brother Marcus to teach him who he is. But the idyllic childhood Alex paints is hiding a traumatic family secret that the twins must finally face together decades later." You can find more reasons why you should watch Tell Me Who I Am here.
13. Wild Wild Country (2018)
The plot, according to Netflix: "When a controversial cult leader builds a utopian city in the Oregon desert, conflict with the locals escalates into a national scandal."
14. Making A Murderer (2015)
The plot, according to Netflix: "Filmed over 13 years, this real-life thriller follows the unprecedented story of two men accused of a grisly crime they may not have committed." If you're looking for a socially relevant docu, this is it. "You'll see how cops manipulate evidence to convict an innocent person," Marga says, "happens here sa Pinas too!"
15. Behind The Curve (2019)
The plot, according to Netflix: "Meet the growing, worldwide community of theorists who defend the belief that the Earth is flat while living in a society who vehemently rejects it." Jewel tells us, "Just incredibly disturbing (and sad) how people can be so set in their anti-science beliefs. This documentary is a pretty good look at them and their community."
16. The Social Dilemma (2020)
The plot, according to Netflix: "We tweet, we like, and we share—but what are the consequences of our growing dependence on social media? As digital platforms increasingly become a lifeline to stay connected, Silicon Valley insiders reveal how social media is reprogramming civilization by exposing what’s hiding on the other side of your screen." Dineva says she deactivated her social media accounts after watching it. If you watch the docu, you'll totally see why!
17. The Devil Next Door (2019)
The plot, according to Netflix: "A Cleveland grandfather is brought to trial in Israel, accused of being the infamous Nazi death camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible."
18. The Mind Of Aaron Hernandez (2020)
The plot, according to Netflix: "Via interviews with friends, players, and insiders, this docuseries examines how Aaron Hernandez went from an NFL star to a convicted killer."
19. The Trials Of Gabriel Fernandez (2020)
The plot, according to Netflix: "A boy's brutal murder and the public trials of his guardians and social workers prompt questions about the system's protection of vulnerable children."
20. Unsolved Mysteries (2020)
The plot, according to Netflix: "Real cases of perplexing disappearances, shocking murders, and paranormal encounters fuel this gripping revival of the iconic documentary series."