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Following in the footsteps of their documentary on Amanda Knox, Netflix is now going to look into another famous murder case, that of child pageant contestant JonBenet Ramsey. The first clip from the movie promises to make this one just as chilling. It gives us several little girls, all dressed up and one of them asking the sort of question you never want to hear coming from the mouth of a child.
While the Netflix documentary on the trial of Amanda Knox was a straightforward documentary, Casting Jonbenet will be something a little different. The producers apparently took several trips to the Ramsey hometown to interview people who live there, not simply to get information about the case, but also to talk to them about the legacy of one of the most public murder investigations in recent memory. The movie won't simply be about the facts of the case, but about how the media circus that followed impacted people who lived in Boulder, Colorado.
Netflix describes the film as a "documentary hybrid" that will combine both elements of non-fiction and fiction. It's not entirely clear how that's designed to work. This simple clip shows us an audition of several little girls who want to play the part of JonBenet Ramsey. The fact is, it's not clear whether this scene is of an actual girl named Hanah who was auditioning, or whether this is a girl playing somebody named Hanah who wants to get the part. Either way, the girl looking into the camera and asking if you know who killed JonBenet is one of the creepiest things we've seen outside of a horror movie. We're assuming that the film will make the fiction and non-fiction aspects clear, otherwise, their "documentary" could have some serious issues, but from here it's impossible to know,
Jon Benet Ramsey was found dead in her parents home around Christmas in 1996. The case became a media field day. The girl's parents became suspects, in the public eye at least, but nobody was ever charged with the crime. It got to the point where the speculation and public interest in the case seemed to overshadow the case itself. A mythology has grown up around the case. It would appear that this is a large part of what the Netflix movie will be looking at.
Casting JonBenet will be premiering this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival, and it will be released on Netflix, and in a limited number of theaters, this April.