Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer

Watch Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer

"The 2002 Interviews."
  • Matur
  • 1992
  • 1 min
  • 7.1  (6,926)
  • 71

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer is a harrowing documentary film from the year 2003 that tells the life story of Aileen Wuornos, one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history. Directed by Nick Broomfield, the film explores the chilling inner thoughts of Wuornos, her troubled childhood and her eventual descent into madness that led to her death.

Broomfield takes us on a journey through some of the darkest corners of the American psyche with his retrospective view of Wuornos. The documentary's footage opens with a series of interrogations with Wuornos in prison. Through her apparent lack of remorse and conviction, we learn about the brutal murders that she committed during the 1980s and 1990s. Wuornos was a prostitute who killed more than seven men over two years, selling her body for sex and often killing the men who paid for her services in cold blood.

As we catch a glimpse of the mind of this damaged individual, we begin to learn about her troubled family background with an abusive mother who abandoned her and a father who committed suicide. Wuornos eventually ran away from home at the age of 14 and soon found herself engaged in a life of crime, prostitution and drugs. She was repeatedly raped and beaten, which left her with a deep hatred for men and contributed to her desire to kill them.

Broomfield, who had previously directed her films, is shown mocking her and relishing her death while taking a deep dive into her life. Throughout the documentary, Broomfield is portrayed as a somewhat shrewd interviewer that is determined to cut through Wuornos' media, lawyer and police influences to expose the true nature of her personality. His interviews with her, along with legal documents and footage from Wuornos' trial, shed light on her actions.

One of the more poignant moments of the documentary is the discovery of her childhood diary, which Broomfield reads through while the police audio transcript of her confession plays over the top. The diary reveals a young Wuornos with hopes and dreams that never came to fruition, alluding to the very real possibility that her horrible upbringing didn't have to ultimately lead to the monster she became.

Finally, the movie dives into Wuornos' arrest and eventual execution in 2002. As we see the lead up to her execution, the family members of Wuornos' victims speak about how their loved ones were taken away from them by her. Additionally, Broomfield presents evidence of Wuornos' paranoid and delusional state in the days leading up to her sentence. This adds a complexity and humanity to the film that allowed audiences to see Wuornos as a person, not just a murderer.

Overall, Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer is a sobering look at the life and crimes of a complicated individual. With Broomfield's unique perspective as a filmmaker, the documentary manages to put a spotlight on the realities of crime, addiction, the American legal system, and the death penalty while keeping the story engaging and compelling. The documentary is also significant because it shows Wuornos as both a perpetrator and a victim of a cruel system. In the end, the movie provides a chilling portrait of a complex and deeply damaged individual and serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of neglecting our most vulnerable citizens.

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer is a 1992 documentary with a runtime of 1 minute. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 71.

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Where to Watch Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer is available to watch free on Plex. It's also available to stream, download on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels and The Roku Channel. Some platforms allow you to rent Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (6,926)
  • Metascore