Netflix’s Latest Hit Horror Thriller Is Based on a True Story


Netflix recently added Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeywoman to its roster of horror movies. Like many new-to-Netflix movies, the film shot straight to the Top 10 Movies in the U.S. chart and now holds the number three spot on the chart. The movie was written and directed by Daniel Farrands, who is also responsible for The Haunting of Sharon Tate, The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman.

Aileen Wuornos stars Peyton List (Cobra Kai, Bunk’d) in the title role. It is set in 1976, after Wuornos married wealthy yacht club president Lewis Fell (Tobin Bell), only to terrorize Florida high society and her new family. That means the movie is set over a decade before Wuornos murdered seven men in a 12-month period, from November 1989 to November 1990. Lydia Hearst, Nick Vallelonga, and Meadow Williams also star in Aileen Wuornos.

The name Wuornos should sound familiar to movie fans. Patty Jenkins directed the critically acclaimed Monster, starring Charlize Theron as Wuornos and Christina Ricci as her girlfriend Turia Moore, renamed Selby Wall in the film. The movie won Theron the 2003 Oscar for Best Actress.

Wuornos was born Aileen Carol Pittman in Michigan and had several run-ins with the law before she began her murder spree. In January 1991, she was arrested outside a bar in Volusia County, Florida. Police also found Moore in Pennsylvania, and she agreed to try to get a confession out of Wuornos in exchange for immunity from prosecution. By February 1993, she received six death sentences. She was incarcerated in Florida and executed in October 2002.

Since her death, Wuornos has also been the subject of several books and documentaries. Nick Broomfield directed two documentaries about her, Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer (1993) and Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer. Jean Smart played Wuornos in the 1992 TV movie Overkill: The Aileen Wuornos Story and a 2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode was inspired by the case. During an episode of American Horror Story: Hotel, Lily Rabe played a fictional version of Wuornos.

Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeywoman is not an original Netflix movie. It was released as a video-on-demand movie in October by Dark Star Pictures. Aileen Wuornos also earned overwhelmingly negative reviews. It has just a 15% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. It would just be a better idea to watch Monster, which is conveniently also available on Netflix.