Murder Among the Mormons: Series Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Murder Among the Mormons: Series Review

It's another month and it's another Netflix docuseries. The previous ones were mixed with "Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer" alluring us with its fresh takes on the "Night Stalker" case while "Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel" showing the deficiencies of rolling out content too frequently and too fast. "Murder Among the Mormons" luckily falls into the highly-entertaining category with a story that was full of twists, turns, and a clear purpose per episode. Don't be fooled though because at the end of the day, it still has all the pitfalls of feeling like a formulaic, copy-paste of previous Netflix crime docuseries at its core.

It's the 1980s and there has been a surge in demand for antique documents in the congregation of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS). Mark Hofmann has been at the forefront of this movement providing controversial yet critical discoveries and documents that pertain to the LDS' early beginnings and creation. But when several deadly bombings occur around Utah in a span of two days which includes Mark Hofmann as one of the bombing victims, investigators must soon face a twisted and shocking tale of high-stakes dealings, cover-ups, and ultimately, deceit.
 
"Murder Among the Mormons" presented a tale as twisted and as shocking as the deceitful mind of its real perpetrator. Coming from the context that we didn't know anything about the case at all, every minute felt thrilling and every guess, notion, and gut feel we had was completely obliterated time and time again. It's pacing and structure was its best asset as it had clear motivations on each episode that made each interview and clue feel important. Unfortunately, once the last episode ended, there was this sinking feeling that we needed and wanted more and even with all of its flash, this docuseries felt like it needed more substance and episodes. The last episode in particular was disappointing as it could have explored the psyche and mentality of the perpetrator of the bombings around Utah more. The character was certainly talented, definitely devious, and scary but the series barely explores his beginnings and motivations. We also felt that the various re-enactments came off as complete distractions and out-of-place feeling more as a requirement to put them to fit the Netflix docuseries universe. They certainly pale in comparison compared to the real news clips and interviews littered throughout the documentary. Overall, "Murder Among the Mormons" was saved by its intriguing true tale that felt as twisted as real-life could be to its maximum potential.     

Rating: 3 and a half reels

  


Why you should watch it:
- weaves an interesting tale of lies, deceit, and greed
- has bombshell after bombshell that left us guessing from start to finish

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the last episode felt it needed more closure and deep material
- the reenactments felt out of place and forcibly put in place
- we wished this was actually longer and had more depth

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