Top 10 Most Disturbing Documentaries on Netflix

Netflix is full of incredible horror films of every different category. Today, we are going to look at a category of immense power to evoke horror – the documentary. The following ten documentaries explore the dark and disturbing sides of humanity. And they’re all real.

1. The Traffickers

In this eight part series, steely journalist Nelufar Hedayat travels the world to expose the illegal trade of black market goods such as gold, fake pharmaceuticals, guns, endangered species, human organs, and even human beings themselves. A deeply disturbing series.


2. The Seven Five 

In the toughest precinct in Brooklyn, officer Michael Dowd patrols the streets. But in this town, he is also one of the dirtiest cops in New York City’s history, running a crime network that stole both money and drugs. His actions would create much suffering on the streets he was supposed to protect. Dowd’s bravado as he describes his crimes is truly chilling.


3. Making a Murderer 

Much has been said about this very popular series, which tells the story of Steven Avery, who served eighteen years in prison for a vicious attack and rape he did not commit. He was exonerated with DNA testing that identified the actual assailant, a man already in jail for another assault. So, that’s the end of it, right? Nope. When twenty-five year old Teresa Halbach’s burned body is found on his property, Avery is arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to life in prison. But was the evidence against Avery fabricated? Or did spending eighteen years behind bars make an innocent man into a murderer?


4. The Nightmare

This film focuses on people suffering from the phenomenon known as sleep paralysis. This condition happens when someone is either falling asleep or waking up, and they are unable to move or speak. During an episode, it is not uncommon for them to see, hear, or imagine things that are not there. This often results in an overwhelming sense of terror for the sufferer.


5. Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses

Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses is a documentary that uses dramatic recreations to show the story of the Wainuiomata exorcism. It is the tragic true story of a New Zealand family whose faith and fear would lead to unbelievable tragedy. This is a powerful story that explores the Maori belief system of Makutu lifting, or exorcism, of spells or malignant powers.


6. Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist

The story opens in 2003 when a pizza delivery man with a bomb strapped around his neck robbed a bank in Erie, PA. The police capture the man, but the bomb explodes, killing him, and the police attempt to track down those responsible. This leads them to an oddly charismatic woman named Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong. As the cast of suspects grows, the more bizarre the crime becomes, and the more sinister Diehl-Armstrong’s manipulations seem.


7. Blackfish

A film about a serial killer of a different species, Blackfish tells the heartbreaking story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that had killed three people while in captivity. The documentary explores the cruel treatment of killer whales in sea parks, and how any animal can respond violently when pushed to their emotional limits.


8. Amanda Knox

She was convicted twice of murder in Italy and smeared mercilessly by the paparazzi before being acquitted. This documentary provides a look at the case from Amanda’s point of view and from a few other key players, and the results are positively chilling. If something like this can happen to her, than everyone is vulnerable.


9. Hostage to the Devil

Using first person interviews and dramatic reconstructions, this documentary shows the extraordinary life of Father Malachi Martin, a priest with the unflappable belief in the existence of the devil and the practice of exorcism. The film explains the process and aftermath of an exorcism, including the last case he was part of before his mysterious death. In the battle for saving a soul, just who really is the Hostage to the Devil?”


10. The Confessions of Thomas Quick

Sture Bergwall, AKA Thomas Quick, was a patient in a psychiatric hospital in Sweden when he made a stunning confession: he was responsible for the murder of an eleven-year old boy who vanished on his way to school in 1980. Over the next few years, Thomas would go on to confess to over thirty unsolved murders, becoming the worst serial killer the country had ever seen. But that’s where the story gets really interesting.

So what do you think of our list of Top 10 Most Disturbing Documentaries on Netflix? Have you seen any of them? Are we missing something truly horrifying? Let us know in the comments!

About Christine Burnham

When not writing, Christine Burnham is watching TV, Horror films, reading, cooking, and spending time with her menagerie of animals.

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