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Viewers Praise Netflix’s Watts Family Murders Doc For Focusing On Victims' Lives And Not Just The Despicable Crime

Viewers Praise Netflix’s Watts Family Murders Doc For Focusing On Victims' Lives And Not Just The Despicable Crime

Netflix's latest true crime documentary American Murder: The Family Next Door is being praised as one of the best of its genre this year.

Not only is the documentary being lauded for the gripping way it chronicles the tragedy at its centre, but viewers are also praising it for focusing on the victims' lives - giving them a voice as opposed to simply the subjects of a horrific crime.

The film, which landed on the streamer last week, tells the heartbreaking story of the Watts family.

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In 2018, Shanann Watts and her two young daughters, Celeste, three, and Bella, four, went missing in Frederick, Colorado. As the search for the 34-year-old and her kids went on, her husband, Chris Watts, became the prime suspect.

As the case became the eye of a media storm, Shanann's husband, Chris Watts, played the part of a bereft father and husband, doing camera appeals to plead for his family's safe return.

In reality, Watts was the murderer. He murdered his whole family in cold blood, brutally killing Shanann along with Bella and Celeste, before concealing their bodies in an oil tank.

Unlike most in its genre, there's no interviews, but instead director Jenny Popplewell tells the story entirely through archival footage that includes social media posts, law enforcement recordings, text messages and never-before-seen home videos.

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(Credit: Netflix)
(Credit: Netflix)

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It's this intimate storytelling that many are saying paints a better picture of Shanann, Celeste and Bella's lives before they were tragically killed.

Netflix's New True Crime Doc About The Watts Family Murders Looks Absolutely Chilling
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published ata month ago

As Netflix puts: "American Murder: The Family Next Door is the first film to give a voice to the victims."

One reviewer on IMDB said: "It wasn't just a crime documentary following the criminal. It was made in light of the victims as it showed lots of video clips of the mom and the girls.

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"This part was very good because it makes you remember them throughout their life, their smiles, their experiences, and not just remember them for the sad ending."

(Credit: Netflix)
(Credit: Netflix)

They added: "The family of the victims and the victims themselves deserved to be remembered for their life; their smiles, not just for what a criminal did to them."

Another review said: "This documentary got me hooked within minutes. Stepping into this family's private life with only original police footage and personal home videos gave the most realistic image to start a horrific story."

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American Murder: The Family Next Door is available to watch on Netflix now.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Entertainment News, TV and Film, True Crime

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Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America.