CYBER HELL: EXPOSING AN INTERNET HORROR on Netflix is a new true-crime documentary from South Korea. The case is a cybercrime where girls are coerced into taking and sending explicit photos and videos. Read our full Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror documentary review here!
CYBER HELL: EXPOSING AN INTERNET HORROR is a new Netflix documentary from South Korea. The true-crime case takes place online but has a huge impact offline. In a way, it reminded me of the brilliant true-crime documentary Don’t F*ck with Cats which is also on Netflix. If you liked that one, you should also enjoy this new one.
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Also, there’s a certain QAnon vibe to it, since the ringleaders of this huge cybercrime are (at first anyway) anonymous. Also, no one can be sure that the person signing in under the same name is the same person. Also, the perpetrators seem to be involved in many crimes in the real world. From drugs to various scams… basically, it’s all about (perceived) power and making money!
Continue reading our Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror documentary review below. You can find it on Netflix from May 18, 2022.
So many victims… and many more perpetrators!
The case covered in Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror is a cybercrime. Of course, the title indicated as much. However, what might surprise you is how well-organized it is despite being such a simple scheme. It’s a crime with many layers, many victims, and many perpetrators.
In this Netflix true-crime documentary, we get the story of how two of the ringleaders are ultimately arrested. In other words, there is some resolution. Also, these “masterminds” are exactly the kinds of “average Joe”-types, you would imagine. The villains in true-crime stories often look and seem very normal.
This cybercrime consists of women and girls (mostly girls that are underage) who are coerced and blackmailed into taking and sending explicit photos and videos. The girls tend to be students (and we’re talking High School or younger) or young women, who believe they’re talking to someone scouting for models or casting for television or film. So simple, and very efficient.
Translations in a documentary
For this case to be uncovered (which began in November 2019), several members of the press did what they could to bring attention to the case. However, at first, there wasn’t much traction for the story. Something that shocks the investigative journalists, who have spent a lot of time in chatrooms to uncover details.
For Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror, we see interviews with both the investigative journalists (it began in the newspaper and then on television) and police officers working on exposing the perpetrators. Also, there are some investigators that are anonymous since they continue to work as Private Investigators of a sort and need to remain unknown to continue working.
Since this Netflix documentary is in Korean, it does pose a few challenges at first. As with any documentary that requires showing the original written documentation and translations at the same time, it’s a wild ride at first. You just have to get used to ignoring the messages in Korean and focus on the subtitles.
Also, the subtitles during various interviews are consistently delayed a bit. So, one of the South Korean journalists or investigators will start talking. And then halfway through the sentence, the subtitles will show up. That’s annoying as well but shouldn’t take anything away from the quality of this original production.
So much coffee in the Cyber Hell documentary on Netflix
What you’ll probably notice rather quickly, when watching this South Korean documentary on Netflix is the coffee. There is always a steaming hot cup of coffee next to the person being interviewed. Or they’re drinking coffee.
Hell, even the title cards throughout the Netflix Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror documentary feature cups of coffee.
I have no idea why, but it’s some of the most efficient product placement I have ever witnessed. So quickly, I was craving coffee so much that I almost paused this true-crime documentary to get a cup of coffee. It’s probably just meant to indicate that many cups of coffee were needed. After all, the intense and huge workload required to work this case most certainly involved coffee.
Watch Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror on Netflix now!
The documentary was directed by Choi Jin-seong and is definitely a very well-crafted piece of work. I always get irritated when the offices seem to be staged. For the newspaper journalists, they appear to sit in huge rooms in basements and I just don’t get the sense that these are their actual offices.
However, it doesn’t ruin my experience or the story coming across as being well-documented. For me, it feels a bit fake, which is the last thing I want from a documentary. Still, as soon as the interviews begin and they explain how they got into the story, I forget about these stagey surroundings.
The true crimes covered in Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror truly are devastating digital crimes. The fact that just a few victims started to speak out meant even more found the courage too. Also, we yet again discover that the press is all-important in shining a spotlight on cases that would otherwise never be fully investigated.
Be sure to check out this documentary if you’re interested in true-crime cases. If you have teenagers, then watch it with them as well. And please be aware that it’s just as important for boys to watch this as girls! Also, make sure you sit down with a cup of coffee so you won’t be tempted to hit pause when the coffee cups on screen make you crave coffee in the worst way!
Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror is out on Netflix from May 18, 2022.
In this feature-length documentary, Director Choi Jin-seong tells the story of two female college students, a group of journalists and the cybercrime police officers who chased down the “Nth Room”, an online criminal network of sexual exploitation.
Crafted from interviews, archives, animation and reenactments, the film reveals how women and girls were coerced into uploading explicit materials of themselves to Telegram chat rooms. A place were ringleaders charged fees in cryptocurrency from tens of thousands of users to access.
This is the story of one of the most devastating digital crimes that gripped the region, the age of digital anonymity that allowed it to thrive, and the victims who spoke out to help bring it down.