True Crime Docuseries Review: Inside the Criminal Mind

 Released on Netflix, this 2018 docuseries is four episodes long and takes a look at what happens inside the brains of serial killers, kidnappers, cult leaders, and crime lords.  Or, at least, that's what it claims it does.  In the first episode, which is dedicated to looking at serial killers, there is a lot of focus on the elements that could create such horrible people as Ted Bundy and John Gacy.  After that, however, the episodes are more dedicated to just being standard crime show fare that highlights some brutal people.

The whole thing gets rather repetitive.  In episode one, they point to serial killers as being psychopaths and talk about what that means.  The next three episodes look at infamous kidnappers, cult leaders, and crime lords.  They tell the tale of them, and then essentially say these people are psychopaths and restate what had already been said in the first episode.

One might read the title and think that this is a deep dive into psychology, which it is in small fragments.  I haven't seen anything from The History Channel in years, but this feels very close to what I remember of their programming.  Everything is dumbed down and sensationalism is front and centre.  And, of course, it has some absolutely horrible recreations and 'dramatic' acted moments.

I don't want to admit it because I may look like a monster, but I laughed out loud during some of these dramatized moments when they were depicting just brutal scenarios.  The quality of the acting, directing, and editing is low grade.  For some reason they included a scene of necrophilia, and this was a moment where I was both in shock at why they included it as well as laughing because of just how poorly made and misguided it was.

There are some lower quality docuseries that will use certain talking heads through all of their episodes.  It always feels as though the producers approached experts, asked them to research the subject matter of each episode, and then use them across the entire series.  I imagine if your budget is limited this is a smart way to approach things. 

I don't mind that they did this, but it kind of fights against other 'interviews' they got.  Inside the Criminal Mind has 'interviews' with victims, family members and other relevant people, and it is quite clear they lifted these from previously published material.  There is no text along the lines of, "Courtesy of NBC" or anything like that, and feels deceptive.  

While on one hand it seems they have paid attention to who they should interview, the lifting of clips (pretty much stealing them) devalues my opinion of the producers and makes me doubt that their recurring 'experts' are speaking with actual authority.  If they have shown no care for anything but convenience by taking other people's interviews, would they be focusing on the same kind of convenience when approaching the talking heads that they would feature?

There are some people who are certainly authorities on certain aspects, but since a lot of them are used across the spectrum of the episodes we have to wonder if they are qualified to be authorities on all of the subjects.

This is low quality stuff.  Netflix doesn't ever help fight the perception of focusing only on quantity over quality by having shows like Inside the Criminal Mind.  If you are absolutely bored and can't sleep at night, maybe this might be something to watch.  If you value your time, no matter the time of day or how bored you get, don't press play.

Rating - 1 out of 4 stars