The four-part docuseries examines the terrifying summer of ’85 in Los Angeles
When it comes to true-crime documentaries, Netflix has no shortage of entertainment. From addicting documentaries such as the viral “Making A Murderer” to Zac Efron’s cinematic take on Ted Bundy, Netflix continues to reign champion for those obsessed with bone-chilling stories.
Their most recent addition, “Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer,” examines the iconic story of infamous killer Richard Ramirez. The killer, who was active from the summer of 1984 to 1985, is depicted in the series to be just as gruesome and haunting as the murders that took place.
For those unaware of the full extent of Ramirez’s “career” of sorts, spoilers will be avoided to allow viewers to experience all of the shocking events and traumatic stories themselves. The show, which consists of four short episodes, focuses on the terrifying year that Ramirez wreaked havoc, rather than spending any large amount of time on his past.
The story is told chronologically, going from murder to murder as the police investigate. Along the way, viewers are filled in with an increasing number of clues as to why he may have done what he did.
Don’t expect to know everything right away, as the story takes just as many twists and turns as a fictitious true-crime novel. The story is bound to leave any new viewer guessing what could happen right up to the ending, which is almost too good to be true.
While “Night Stalker” may fall victim to implementing the typical true-crime mannerisms such as black and white montages and slow-motion examinations, another aspect of the series sets it aside from others. The docuseries spends a respectable amount of time focusing on the police officers and their investigation into the killer, rather than solely focusing on Ramirez.
While the show does focus on keeping the viewer interested in the content as it’s relatively short for a documentary of this nature, the show still falls prey to the same clichés that so many others do.
That being said, “Night Stalker” still makes for an enjoyable binge-watch. For any true-crime fanatics unaware of Ramirez, his haunted past, or his borderline comedic downfall in Mexico, it’s wise to deem this as necessary viewing.