DEAR CHILD on Netflix is a new thriller series from Germany (org. title: Liebes Kind). It’s one of the best German Netflix productions, and with just six episodes, it’s impossible not to binge-watch. A brutal crime mystery. Read our full Dear Child series review here!

DEAR CHILD is a new Netflix series from Germany (org. title: Liebes Kind). Not since Dark, have I been this blown away by a German Netflix production. Unlike Dark, this series is not a sci-fi story. Instead, it’s a heartbreaking and brutal crime, mystery, and thriller series.

Also, it’s very much inspired by real events, despite being based on a novel. Personally, I found it impossible not to binge-watch it, and with just six episodes, I suspect many will feel the same way. You simply cannot stop watching because you need to understand and see where it’s all going.

Continue reading our Dear Child series review below. Find it on Netflix from September 7, 2023.

A life of absolute control

In Dear Child, we meet Lena who lives in complete isolation in a highly secured home. There, she lives with two children, Hannah and Jonathan, and their lives are controlled to a brutal degree. They have to eat their very specific meals at very specific times. Even toilet breaks and sleep in controlled.

When “Father” shows up at the door, all three line up and show their hands. He enters and they flip their hands to show the other side. Basically, everything is controlled by this man and they do everything he says. They have no choice!

And, as we come to see, this really is true. Punishment is swift and unforgettable, so they really do need to follow his every command.

That is until the young woman called Lena escapes one night. While on the run, she’s in a near-fatal car accident which results in her being hospitalized. Accompanied by the young girl Hannah, who is very much the title character. The boy, Jonathan, is nowhere to be seen. Yet!

Dear Child (2023) Netflix Series Review

A nightmare of Josef Fritzl proportions

This new Netflix series essentially begins with a form of redemption as Lena escapes her captivity along with the girl. However, it takes quite some time for the actual extent of this nightmare to be revealed. This is exactly why you cannot stop watching this new German Netflix series.

When Lena’s parents arrive at the hospital that very same night, the plot thickens. They have been desperately searching for their missing daughter for almost 13 years, but is the girl in the hospital bed their daughter? All of this happens within the first episode.

As we get a lot more background information and witness – in flashbacks – the life the woman and the two children have been enduring, you cannot help but think of Josef Fritzl. Well, I certainly couldn’t. The mystery of who the “Father” (the man holding them captive) is will be revealed. However, not until we get to the end.

And yes, the ending of Dear Child is definitive, so you will not be left hanging. The answers will be given, but that doesn’t mean you’ll like the ending. I did. I really did. But maybe you saw it going in a different direction and will get irritated.

I doubt it. But you never know and if you get hooked by episode 1 (how could you not, I wonder?!), then you’ll want to stay around till the very end.

Watch the Dear Child series on Netflix!

Dear Child is a six-part mini-series based on Romy Hausman’s novel of the same title – the original German title being “Liebes Kind”. I have not read the book, so I can’t speak as to how directly it follows that story. I can, however, say that I loved the story told in this Netflix mini-series.

Isabel Kleefeld and Julian Pörksen are writers and directors on episodes in the series adaptation.

The young Naila Schuberth plays the role of Hannah, and she is amazing. I mean, she is scarily good at portraying this young girl who has known only captivity. You may recognize Naila Schuberth from Bird Box: Barcelona where she played Sofia. The young boy, Jonathan, is portrayed by Sammy Schrein, who is wonderful as well.

As the woman, who manages to escape her captivity, we see Kim Riedle (Back for Good), and she is brilliant. She has to carry most of the movie (along with the Hannah character), so it’s all-important that she works in this role. And she really does.

You’ll probably also recognize Haley Louise Jones as the police officer in charge of finding the boy. Well, and just getting to the bottom of everything. Haley Louise Jones was in the recently released Netflix movie Paradise (find our review here). Plus, fans of Dark will recognize Julika Jenkins, who portrays Lena’s mother in this new series.

Whether you like thrillers or crime series, this one is for you. An intense and brutal story that stays with you much longer than you’d like. Do not miss out on this and be ready to get both angry, irritated, and relieved at various points.

Dear Child is out on Netflix worldwide on September 7, 2023.

Details

Headwriter & Director: Isabel Kleefeld
Writer & Director: Julian Pörksen
Cast: Kim Riedle, Naila Schuberth, Sammy Schrein, Hans Löw, Haley Louise Jones, Justus von Dohnányi, Julika Jenkins, Birge Schade, Christian Beermann, Seraphina Maria Schweiger, Özgür Karadeniz, Jeanne Goursaud

Plot

A mysterious woman’s escape from her harrowing captivity points investigators toward the dark truth behind an unsolved disappearance 13 years earlier.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard