George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
American Murder: The Family Next Door follows the first hand footage and accounts from the family and friends of Shannon Watts about her disappearance and the subsequent murder investigation that followed.
Going into this Netflix documentary I had very little knowledge of this case but the use of real footage and videos of Shannon really worked at surmounting the fact that this is a real story and how truly gut-wrenching it was hearing what the final words of the little girls were. I never expected this documentary to truly explain how the mother and daughter died in such detail but yet shockingly that worked really well at hammering in the fact that the killer really was quite evil and how sad this real story turned out to be. Now I’m not going to spoil anything but sadly even though I didn’t know who killed them at the start, it was immediately noticeable who did it once they appeared and that did put a downer on the documentary as you’re just waiting for the truth to come out and not paying that much attention to what happened beforehand. Yet because of this, the first hand footage of the police officers, trial and interrogation room really worked wonders at showing how manipulative the killer was trying to be and how the subsequent truth was finally unveiled throughout their lies.
American Murder: The Family Next Door doesn't do much to set itself apart from other murder documentaries but the way it was filmed really did keep me engaged throughout. With an interesting yet deeply sad story, it’s a documentary that’s I found to be worthwhile and one that’s worth the watch if you’re interested in this genre of documentaries.
2020 Releases Ranked
What other documentary would you recommend I watch?