Netflix has a slew of fascinating true crime documentaries and ‘Don’t Fuck With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer’ is just the latest addition to the platform. However, I should preface the following by saying that this series is unlike any other on the platform. This is primarily because the killer in question here is .. shall we say unlike any other you might know of. Also, internet plays a huge role in both the crime and the hunt of the killer. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer Recap:
‘Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer’ starts off with a mysterious person posting a horrific video of him asphyxiating two cats with vacuum-sealed bags, and a vacuum cleaner. The cruel act brings together a team of online amateur sleuths, who are determined to bring this cat killer to justice. However, their brilliant conclusions do not help them make much headway. By this time, the killer posts two more videos – one of him drowning a cat, and the other of him feeding a cat to a python. Although the group forms an idea that a man named Luka Magnotta is behind these acts, the law enforcement agencies are unwilling to act against him.
However, there is a premonition that he might escalate to something more serious. In fact, most serial killers start with animals and escalate to humans, and Luka showed all the traits of a killer, from his lack of remorse, his desire for showmanship springing from vanity, and his morbid interest in real-life serial killers.
Soon enough, the group’s worst fears are realized when a video emerges of Luka killing and dismembering a real person. He then proceeds to mail the body parts to different institutes, as an attention-seeking stunt. Then, Luka goes on the run. A joint effort from law enforcement agencies in Europe, and the tireless work of the social media justice group out to get Luka, finally leads to his capture.
Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer Review:
Unlike most documentaries that tend to be an exercise in retroactively solving a crime, there is a sense of urgency in the way this docuseries is structured. First off, the very title ‘Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer’ is wonderfully phrased, because when the series starts, you know you are tailing someone who is capable of immense cruelty to animals. The title also refers to rule zero of the internet, which states that if you mess with cats, people will find you out.
Structurally, the entire show is made to feel like a psychological thriller, because we are introduced to the amateur online sleuths and see the case through their eyes. Luka Magnotta is never interviewed, and his perspective is never sought throughout. The man is merely tracked, as navigating the online space becomes a hurdle that must be crossed. By the time we move onto future episodes, we see how Magnotta has escalated to murdering a human being, as the dark world of online violence seeps into the real world.
The docuseries is not afraid to throw out twists, by showing how Magnotta evades the law, by peeling back his online persona and revealing his lies, and most importantly, by giving us an alternate culprit who seems to fit the bill for the crime. In an intense roller-coaster narrative, our hopes are toyed with, as we want to see the killer brought to justice, and just when we feel we are closing in, there seems to be a curveball. We cannot help but watch from the sidelines and cheer for the underdog sleuths who do a great job at tracking Luka across the globe.
Ultimately, the series becomes a cautionary tale that touches upon social media and the internet affecting our lives in unprecedented ways. It is a testament to the kind of darkness that exists on the net apart from the light content. It shows how the callout culture can descend to cyberbullying and lead someone to take their lives, but most importantly, it shows how the attention given to people due to internet access, can often lead them to escalate their acts to remain in the spotlight.
Therefore, ‘Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer’ does not just become a deconstruction of the psyche of a killer, but a deconstruction of the effect of the internet on one of the most shocking killers in recent times. If you feel that the age of the internet has inculcated us with a sense of apathy, pushing us towards cruelty, or if you feel that the internet validates us and we go to various extents to seek said validation, then this documentary will shine a light on the darker side and consequences of these behavior patterns.
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