If you're a true crime fan, the Netflix original movie “Lover, Stalker, Killer” is for you. The film follows the true story of Dave Krupa and his experience with an ex-lover turned psychotic stalker in the early 2010s. The release was directed by Sam Hobkinson and premiered on Friday, February 9, quickly surpassing the top spot on Netflix's “Movies Today” on the day of its release. The plot consists largely of twists and turns. Whenever the conclusion seems obvious, it is debunked in the next few scenes.
Krupa initially met the perpetrator through a dating app, where the obsessive behavior takes place. The story is told through interviews with Krupa, his ex-wife, and law enforcement officials who worked the case. This combined with evidence, photos, videos and re-enactment scenes featuring Krupa playing himself, makes the story easy to follow. The combination of film and documentary styles makes the story attractive to the audience. The storytelling is powerful with flashbacks that recreate specific scenarios.
One unique aspect of the film that is uncommon in documentaries is its insight into the lives of other characters. Investigators talk about their life experiences outside of their work. This gives an understanding that these are real people who balance life with a painful investigation that lasts for four years.
From a production standpoint, the film suffers from overly dramatic music and lighting. However, I would argue that it fits the narrative and emotion it is trying to evoke. This kind of cinematic value also attracts viewers and makes the documentary attractive. The plot may be predictable to some, but the creative narrative distracts your imagination from discovering it through deliberate storytelling. Additionally, the film highlights certain characters to confuse the audience. Descriptions of the people suggest their motives, but nothing is fully verified. The constant switching between different accusations leaves viewers wondering about the underlying tone of each line of dialogue. Obviously, no matter what the characters say they believed at the time, the answer won't be clear until the final minutes of the documentary. This build-up captivates audiences and helps them better understand the confusing threads the investigators deal with.
For those who don't know if they can stomach a documentary like this, it's not visually graphic, despite the descriptions of disturbing events. Besides, it's always uncomfortable to know that something like this happened not long ago. I'm someone who loves thrillers while recognizing that they are fictional. A true crime like this can instill fear of the horrific realities of the world. The depths to which the perpetrator continues to terrorize Krupa are terrifying. The number of innocent people affected by this tragedy is truly heartbreaking. The film doubles down on drawing its attention to the inner workings of criminals as well as entertaining. Likewise, the film shows how technological expansion can harm the safety of society and make it easier for people to get away with their crimes. Viewers may need to think twice before using their favorite dating apps and trusting strangers.