Let’s take it way back to a simpler time: exactly a year ago. Everyone was talking about Steven Avery, small-town Wisconsin justice, and a really horrible 2005 murder thanks to the Netflix series Making A Murderer. We were amazed that out of this whole basket of deplorables (to borrow an expression), a grisly murder wasn’t the only terrifying aspect of the story. (By the way, when we were discussing this post last week, we also realized that these scary Manitowoc County people were also exactly the people who voted the next president into office … so there’s another spooky aspect to this whole story.)
Scary Things About Making A Murderer Other Than The Murder
Winter in Wisconsin
I live in one of the snowiest cities in America (100 inches/average). We get 12 inches of lake effect snow and school isn’t even cancelled the next day. The average high temperature last February was 12 degrees Fahrenheit. And I am a total wimp compared to the hardy Wisconsinites in this series. Didn’t it feel like every exterior shot, no matter what time it took place, was crammed with piles of snow everywhere? But nobody complained or even looked cold? Manitowoc County is like the North Pole except that it’s a workshop for unspeakable violence and judicial corruption instead of toys.
Scare Scale: A White-Knuckle Drive On An Icy Expressway – 2/10
The Land That Time Forgot
Based on the hair and wardrobe of the various townspeople, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Making A Murderer was filmed in 1986 or 1998, but it was actually well into the 2000s. I know plenty of small-town residents, rural folks, and Midwesterners who look completely normal, so the frozen-in-time aesthetic really added to the feeling that there was something just off about every single one of these people.
Scare Scale: The moment when Rip Van Winkle awakes – 3/10
Two Nice Lesbians In Possible Peril
The filmmakers behind Making A Murderer, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, were a very young, chill lesbian couple from Columbia University when this project began. Although there are tons of intelligent, free-thinking people in the rural northern Midwest, the particular crowd that was featured in this documentary seemed… um… not that way. Not to mention, Ricciardi and Demos probably didn’t exactly blend into the Land That Time Forgot. They never mentioned being made to feel at all uncomfortable, but I still found myself wanting to call in a welfare check when I realized they were alone with some of those people (ahem… Steven’s terrifying mother).
Scare Scale: That Time When TLC Showed Michelle Duggar’s Lesbian Sister & I Imagined The First Time She Met Jim-Bob – 5/10
See the rest here.
3 thoughts on “Best of 2016: Scary Things About Making A Murderer Other Than The Murder”
I’m a regular reader of your blog, and I usually enjoy your posts. But I feel like you kind of missed the point of this doc. The filmmakers made the point several times that the attitude toward the family from the larger community was that they were low class scum — and that was why everyone ‘knew’ Avery was guilty in the first case. Wearing out of fashion clothes or owning a junk yard doesn’t automatically make people gross or creepy. It’s not fair to assume you know how people vote, or their attitudes on gay marriage, based on what are essentially just markers of class. My $.02.
We appreciate the thoughtful comment! We don’t really think people from economically depressed rural areas are a monolith, but by being flip and facetious (a tone that may work in person, but less so in writing), we can see how that’s exactly the impression we gave. Thanks for pointing it out!
Also, I meant to add: I didn’t have a New Years Resolution before, but now mine is to avoid adopting exactly that tone online, so really, thanks!
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