Hulu Docuseries Recommendation: Captive Audience: A Real American Horror Story (2022)

Captive Audience: A Real American Horror Story is about the abduction of Steven Stayner and the crimes of Cary Stayner. They were in the spotlight for different reasons. One had no control over why he was in the media. Reporters and the general public wanted to know everything about Steven Stayner. He was hailed a hero and rewarded for his courageousness. The other wanted to be a part of the media and have the spotlight. Reporters and the general public wanted to know less about Cary Stayner and more what his punishment would be for his crimes. It’s a horror story in that the Stayner family had tragedy happen to them than they anticipated. I already knew the details of these stories, but I didn’t know much about how Steven’s children. While the documentary highlights the emotions still within the surviving family members, including his son and daughter, there seemed to be some awkwardness with the actors from the TV movie in 1989 reciting the words of Steven and Cary said themselves. I’m not sure how much it contributed to the effectiveness of the tragedies. In a way, both the children were let down by those meant to protect them. Steven was tricked into believing his parents didn’t love him anymore by a pedophile. Cary was tricked by a family member who abused him and not given the attention after Steven was kidnapped. This isn’t making excuses for Cary’s behavior because he made his own bed. I just wonder if things would have changed had Steven never been abducted in the first place. You can’t help but be sympathetic to everything he went through as you’re watching this.

I give Captive Audience THREE FINGERS at 80%.

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