Dirty John: real life Netflix thriller

March 11, 2019

Four Stars



Lies. Addiction. Betrayal. Newbie to the Netflix scene, Dirty John, is a fast-moving thriller which tells the TRUE STORY of Debra Newell and her nightmare relationship with John Meehan.


In just 8 episodes, viewers discover how con-artist and sociopath ‘Dirty John’ came to exploit a successful American business woman into marrying him, buying them a house, and sharing her earnings in the space of just 2 months. 


Connie Britton gives a brilliant adaption of naïve, John-obsessed Debra who, despite the desperate efforts of her daughter Veronica (Juno Temple) to alert her, fails to see the warning signs of her illusory relationship. And it is the suspicion of Debra’s daughters; Veronica and Terra, and nephew, Toby who keep the thriller alive; urging viewers to question the authenticity of John’s charm, and anticipating a turn of events at the end of every scene. 


The most harrowing streak of John’s personality owes itself to his addiction to anaesthetic drugs, fuelled by those stolen from patients at the hospital that he works at. The severity of the addiction is revealed through a series of flashbacks and an undercover investigation where his history of cheating, stalking, and assault also become apparent. John’s screen-man, Eric Bana, sure does succeed with the creep-factor.


In the final episodes, John is admitted to hospital; giving Debra the perfect opportunity to escape the terrors he has in store for her. But despite her daughters’ successful efforts of convincing her to escape, her sympathy strikes and she’s back for more. Only to be met by several more reminders of why she should run. 


Throughout the series there are moments of climax which give hints of Netflix thriller series YOU. Not to mention the final episode which unveils the deadly consequences of Debra’s love affair in one unforgettably terrifying scene. From start to finish, the plot is thriller gold; treating viewers to adrenaline shocks they’d never have expected to associate with real life events. Watch this and you’ll constantly question- did this really happen to the Newell family? 




Image credit: IMDb




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