“What happens when law enforcement decides the truth can’t possibly be true?” That’s the question at the heart of American Nightmare, a new three-part true crime documentary series that’s just arrived on Netflix.
This new Netflix series is from filmmakers Felicity Morris and Bernadette Higgins, the duo behind The Tinder Swindler, a true crime movie that took Netflix by storm in 2022, American Nightmare centers on the almost unthinkable ordeal suffered by Denise Huskins and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn in March 2015.
With an instantly intriguing core premise, plenty of dramatic twists and some very slick editing, American Nightmare looks set to be the next Netflix show everybody is talking about.
What is American Nightmare about?
Huskins and Quinn's story has been compared to the popular Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl and opens with the couple being awoken in the middle of the night by a home invader. The pair were attacked with tasers, and then Huskins was kidnapped by this mysterious intruder.
Fearing for his girlfriend’s life, Quinn contacted the authorities in the hopes that Huskins could be rescued before the worst happened. The police were stumped and struggled to find any concrete leads. But when Huskins suddenly reappears, the story should have had a happy ending with the pair reunited after such a harrowing ordeal.
However, law enforcement started to question the couple’s version of events, believing their story to be too far-fetched to be the truth. Subsequently, Huskins and Quinn are accused of staging the kidnapping. For the young couple, their American Nightmare is just beginning...
Should you stream American Nightmare on Netflix?
Mixing archive footage with new interviews, this true-crime docuseries is a twisting tale that will engross and terrify viewers in equal measures. It could even stake a claim to be one of the best true crime shows on Netflix. That's no mean feat considering the streaming service has become the home of compelling true crime content over the past few years.
American Nightmare only arrived on Netflix today (Jan. 17) so there are not many reviews out there yet, but Nick Schager of The Daily Beast notes the show “elicits skepticism and shock in equal measure” and that it “underlines the potential difficulty—and yet vital necessity—of taking allegations of rape seriously, even when the narratives are outlandish and the evidence is scant” in a positive write up.
If you're a true crime nut, American Nightmare is most certainly a doc that you’ll want to add to your Netflix watchlist and don't be surprised to see the social media conversation around this one rage for several weeks to come.
If you're looking for even more viewing recommendations, we’ve ranked the Netflix most-watched list by Rotten Tomatoes scores. Plus, there are plenty of new movies to stream this week on Netflix, Hulu and more.
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Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.