Netflix’s latest true-crime documentary Web of Make Believe: Death Lies and the Internet hits horrifyingly close to home. The anthology series comes from director Brian Knappenberger (The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, The Internet’s Own Boy), Luminant Media and Imagine Documentaries telling the stories that blur the lines between the internet and reality.
The show spans over six episodes, telling five different stories (the last two episodes cover the same story broken into two parts). The runtime for each episode is 60 to 50 minutes. The official synopsis of the show reads: “Conspiracy. Fraud. Violence. Murder. What starts out virtual can get real all too quickly.”
Netflix’s Web of Make Believe: Death Lies and the Internet Review Does Not Contain Spoilers
Web of Make Believe: The Digital Space Is Scarier than You Think
The internet is a vast, unexplored jungle that can empower you or destroy you. It is usually the former that everybody would like to believe, but once in a while Netflix gives its viewers the reality check with documentaries like The Tinder Swindler and Don’t F*ck with Cats that can raise every hair on your body and send a chill down your spine. Web of Make Believe: Death Lies and the Internet is just another hit to put that ball in the park.
The six-part anthology covers five real-life stories about the internet and crime. The first episode deals with ‘SWATing’ which is a fraudulent way to send a SWAT team to someone’s house just to get back at the person- a method very prominently used by gamers until one thing goes wrong and the fatal consequences are too hard to handle.
The second and the third episode take a political turn with one dealing with the murder of a political staffer in 2016 that uncovers some dark conspiracy theories and, another dealing with a woman’s journey of becoming a tool of white nationalist hate speech that gives rise to unprecedented violence. Both of these stories account for the safety umbrella that the internet provides to perpetrators and becomes a medium for them to spread violence and hate.
When we land in the fourth episode titled ‘Sextortion’, cybercrime gets more real than ever as the screen presents us with several women who recount their personal, harrowing experiences about a man who tried to blackmail them into sending sexually sensitive information and content. The severity and stakes go higher up with the revelation of the man being able to hack their emails and bank account details to get what he wants.
The finale of the season is a two-part federal hunt that feels nothing less than a movie of its own. It deals with the suspects of the IRS heist and the crimes of the future that landed them right in the lap of law enforcement.
Web of Make Believe: Death, Lies and the Internet’s main theme is to reflect how it is the ordinary, everyday people in society who become the targets of the most heinous crimes. With the internet and other technological advances being an arm’s distance away, it has become easier to not only commit a crime and harass people but, also to get away with it untouched. Moreover, because the stories are coming from real-life people, the gravity of the harmful space we will in catches up.
Web of Make Believe: Death Lies and the Internet: Final Verdict
Stream this one right now on Netflix! It is always a pleasant surprise to see Netflix excel in terms of content when it comes to true crimes and documentaries when it fails too badly to impress its audiences with good romantic dramas and comedies. But, maybe this is what is the OTT platform’s saving grace it never misses a chance to give its audiences a dose of reality.
Web of Make Believe: Death Lies and the Internet is a harrowing series that also serves as a cautionary tale for both the young and old. The show is now streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.