‘Sasquatch’ and ‘Confronting a Serial Killer’ Showcase How Different Two True Crime Shows Can Be [SXSW 2021]
Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2021 by Jacob Hall
We live in the age of Peak True Crime. You can’t search for a podcast without stumbling over countless new shows about grisly murders. You can’t browse Netflix without skimming past that week’s latest miniseries about a serial killer you’ve never heard about. And let’s face it: we eat it up. We devour these unsettling stories of monsters and victims because they are fascinating, because they are primal, because they are real, because they hold consequence. Nothing grips like a cold, hard truth.
And yet, we’ve also reached the point where the beats of a true crime series are so familiar, their style and pacing so specific, that they can be effortlessly parodied in something like the late, great American Vandal. So, what’s a true crime series to do?
This year’s online SXSW Film Festival premiered two new true crime shows with very different priorities. Hulu’s Sasquatch feels like a bold new statement for the genre, an offbeat blend of investigative reporting and documentary filmmaking with a deep dive into the supernatural and the unexplainable. Simply put: it’s a true crime doc where the killer may be Bigfoot. Really. Meanwhile, Starz’s Confronting a Serial Killer doubles down on a back-to-the-basics approach, stripping away the bombast of so many modern series and putting its lens on what often gets lost in true crime stories: the victims.