Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee review – an insane story

August 20, 2022
Romey Norton 0
Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service


Behind the scenes of the infamous John McAfee’s life on the run. 

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Behind the scenes of the infamous John McAfee’s life on the run. 

Netflix documentary Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee will be released on Netflix on August 24, 2022.

Netflix is not stopping with the hard-hitting, wild documentaries. The latest one available for streaming is the true crime, real-life documentary, Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee. A story about an original computer genius, the one who invented the most successful, and most hated software, McAfee Anti-Virus. A man who lived his life in an extreme and intense way, from creating the software used worldwide, to running for president, to becoming a wanted man for fraud and murder, I can’t put it better myself than what John says in the documentary: “James Bond, meets Scarface, with a little Indiana Jones”. This documentary has it all — a bit of Blair Witch with the filming styles too. Hand-held and all over the place at times.  

At the peak of his career John McAfee was worth a staggering $100 million dollars, this money gave him the means to escape when his neighbour was murdered, and McAfee decided to go on the run, inviting and taking a small film crew with him. Hiding somewhere in central America, McAfee was almost hiding in plain sight. He would wear wigs and basic, bad disguises and give fake names, and managed to stay in prestigious hotels such as The Four Seasons and not be caught. 

In this documentary there is never-before-broadcast footage of McAfee as he’s pursued by the authorities. It’s exciting, it’s almost unbelievable, it’s crude and opens the serious question, did he murder his neighbor? McAfee says the government was after him due to him owing them money. There isn’t much depth into the crimes themselves, the murder or the fraud, which I would have really liked to have heard more of. 

What is also interesting is hearing from ghostwriters, the people who write for rockstars, politicians, anyone who can’t write but has an interesting story to tell. This perspective and what they uncovered, brings another dynamic to this documentary. The writer describes McAfee as both brilliant and manipulative and admits he really didn’t know what was the truth and what was fiction with McAfee. 

There isn’t anything in regards to the police, or investigators and lawyers, it’s very much one sided. This documentary’s focus is on the footage of McAfee running away from the government. Although McAfee never seems scared, or worried, he just seems like he was enjoying being filmed. This makes me think he was always putting on an act for the cameras and wanted this footage to be released eventually. A true showman.

Eventually, McAfee is arrested in Europe for tax evasion in the millions and could spend the rest of his life in prison if extradited back to the USA. On June 23rd 2021, McAfee was found dead in a Spanish prison, after it was decided he would be taken back to the USA. Everyone involved seemed quite sombre and sad talking about McAfee’s passing and memory, maybe he wasn’t that bad after all. The murder of his neighbour remains unsolved, and McAfee’s death is still questioned. 

The final part of the documentary, the final lines are from his ex, saying that weeks after he “died” he called her from Texas saying he’d paid people off and that he wants her to run away with him. It’s insanity, but I believe it. 

From watching this, all I can say is, what an absolute character John McAfee is. Nothing like I expected; a dangerous maverick with money. A narcissist, his name and face was everywhere, and even on the run he acted like one of the wildest characters I’ve ever watched. With a runtime of one hour and fifty four minutes it’s something you can really invest in, without it dragging or feeling long and drawn out. I highly recommend watching if you’re a fan of real-life and true crime documentaries. 

What did you think of the Netflix documentary Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee? Comment below.

You can watch this documentary with a subscription to Netflix.