Our Weekly Entertainment Dispatch
Yup, that’s really the title
Don’t F**k With Cats chronicles the (true) 2012 hunt by two internet sleuths to unmask a sadistic killer who records himself doing terrible things to kittens (yup, you read that right, too).
The perpetrator then posts the videos online under a pseudonym, spurring the outraged duo to run down the villain’s true identity and alert relevant law enforcement. And although they succeed in doing just that, the subject manages to elude authorities and goes on to commit a truly grisly act of violence (footage of which he uploads and which we see in fleeting hints).
Part of what makes this 2019 docuseries so compelling is the way the filmmakers depict the cat and mouse dynamic between the subject and the two Facebook-users-turned-amateur-investigators. With up-close reenactments of the unfolding online pursuit — fingers clacking across a keyboard; the sudden ‘ping’ of a new, taunting video dropped by the perp — it is as if the viewer is the one sitting at the computer, feverishly trying to piece the bits of information together to get this guy. You’re in on this investigation.
The three-part series, if easily digestible due to its duration, can be hard to stomach. It’s a disturbing foray into human depravity. But for true crime lovers, OSINT enthusiasts, and detectives — both sworn and armchair — it is a must-see. No data point is too small for the online sleuths to pore over, whether it’s scrutinizing every piece of the killer’s room decor or figuring out the model of a bright yellow vacuum cleaner spotted in one of the clips. This is true sleuthing.
If you’ve ever wanted to be inside an investigation, this one’s for you. You’ll see the clues as the real-life investigators do. You’ll feel the pull of the chase, the frustrations of the blind alleys… and yes, the satisfaction of where it all leads.
(You may also recall the case from the headlines — it made news at the time).
Don’t F**k With Cats is available on Netflix. And if you like it (if “like” is the appropriate word here), the same producers have made at least two other docuseries, which Netflix also carries: The Tinder Swindler and Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi.
Based on the subject matter they favor: these producers must be, um, interesting people.
Either way — they’ve made a really interesting series in Don’t F**k With Cats.
Enjoy the movie and support your local police!