The Curse of Lizzie Borden is a crime/supernatural Shock Docs special. The 84-minutes long movie features paranormal investigators Dave Schrader with Luann Joy, Sam Baltrusis, and Chris Fleming.
Discovery+ describes the documentary as:
Dave Schrader assembles a team of paranormal experts to investigate whether a dark family curse led to the most infamous axe murders of all time.
– The Curse of Lizzie Borden has mild spoilers –
The Lizzie Borden case has been an infamous one, and her house even more so. I am sure you’ve heard the famous rhyme:
Lizzie Borden took an axe
and gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
she gave her father forty-one.
No, Lizzie’s parents weren’t hacked that many times, that’s just for the sake of the rhyme.
The Curse of Lizzie Borden takes a look at the Borden case to see if there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Like, you know, demonic possessions, black magic and the like. The documentary takes a very, VERY serious look at the case. Rife with reenactments, if you’re unaware of the story, you might enjoy it. To be honest, the re-enactments mesh well with the crime-scene photos. They almost look creepy.
However, the point of The Curse of Lizzie Borden, or of presenter Dave Schrader, is to not solve the crime since there still are many questions about it. It’s more to see whether the Borden family was cursed. And the documentary really dives deep into that thought. We don’t miss a beat to immediately jump into witchcraft and dark forces.
The re-enactments are, honestly, gnarly. The sepia tones go well with the subject matter and although the crime can be mostly answered by logic because there are multiple ways that it could’ve gone down, Schrader really isn’t interested. Before long we have multiple people converge to the Borden house to talk to spirits. They are gonna have a séance, yes.
Now, I don’t really believe in spirits and neither do I believe in seances. I like logic and science and follow them thoroughly. Thus, when the GoPros and night-vision cameras come out, you know this is going to be something. Unfortunately, the EVP’s “I’m here really isn’t believable for me.” It’s like watching Buzzfeed Unsolved Supernatural but without the wit and humour. There are talks of the house reeking like rotting flesh and seeing little girls on the stairs.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to see any of that in The Curse of Lizzie Borden and barely hear any of it. Thus, their seriousness and surety almost feel silly and comical. The participants go “wow!” or wide-eyed at the drop of a hat.
I don’t want to be a party-pooper though. I really mean it when I say that I thoroughly enjoy supernatural stuff. Any kind of horror movie is my favourite and documentaries are awesome. But this isn’t something that is presented with a touch of humour. It take itself so seriously that it just feels unbelievable.
However, that, of course, depends on you. If you’re someone who believes seances and talking to spirits and the devil making Lizzie murder her family, then you’re really going to enjoy this. It’s really well-made.
Summing up: The Curse of Lizzie Borden
Shock Docs’s The Curse of Lizzie Borden is a fun documentary to watch if you’re in the mood for something spooky. However, the fact that it reminds the audience that “this is serious!” every 5 minutes is annoying. The EVPs and “I saw a little girl of the stairs” have already become quite old at this point. So, if you’re planning on watching this, you know what you’re getting into.
The Curse of Lizzie Borden is streaming on Discovery+.