Netflix’s Inside the Criminal Mind offers an insight into how the most nefarious criminal types think, in a below-par docuseries.
Netflix’s Inside the Criminal Mind is a four-part series exploring the answers experts have been seeking for decades – what makes evil criminals tick? Each episode takes on the form of a crime, exploring the immoral behaviour that defines the most nefarious criminal types.
It’s worth noting that Inside the Criminal Mind is the typical documentary; reenactments of crime scenes, ridiculous dramatic music, and a narrator who sounds way too excited. If you can overlook the basic elements of a standard documentary, then this Netflix docuseries does provide a level of education. Unfortunately, what you learn will not surprise you, making me equally surprised that Netflix decided to tie themselves to something that is wholly unoriginal in terms of style and research.
The opening episode is about serial killers, which is usually the benchmark for classic crime documentaries. Inside the Criminal Mind brings in experts, police investigators and bite-sized facts to describe why serial killers act the way they do. If you have recently watched Mindhunter, which is a fictional series based on real-life events, then you will be waiting for each theory to come to light.
The most interesting insight in the first episode was the analysis of Ted Bundy; in case you are unaware he was an American serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, burglar, and necrophile who assaulted and murdered a number of young women and girls during the 1970s. The documentary hints that he could have started much earlier but the police struggle to identify serial killers, as there is usually no link at first, and crimes can span days, months or years apart. Netflix’s Inside the Criminal Mind does an entire reenactment of Ted Bundy living his life, and slowly coming to terms with his own criminal self and reacting to his temptations. If I am honest, I just wanted to watch Mindhunter again.
The other episodes explore kidnapping, cult leaders and crime lords, fashioning themselves in the same format and style, with the narration eventually grating on you. One of the positives is that Inside the Criminal Mind does not subject itself to over 1-hour episodes, so the series is just about binge-able. This is no Evil Genius or The Confession Tapes; Netflix has offered a dud.