Lover, Stalker, Killer

Say what you will about Netflix. Much of its original content – namely scripted dramas – can be hit or miss, and forget about returning to a favorite months later once its been removed from the menu. However, the digital streaming company has been on fire lately with its offering of true-crime documentaries.

The American Nightmare series most recently blew up the service, shooting straight to the top of its offerings to become one of its most watched series of all time.

Netflix's latest addition to its true-crime filmography, Lover, Stalker, Killer, spins a startling yarn of affection, deception, and peril in the digital age, and may very well be one the most unbelievably bizarre true crime pieces this junkie has ever laid eyes on. It’s that whackadoodle bonkers!

"a remarkable film, equal parts heart-wrenching and harrowing"

Lover, Stalker, Killer dives deep into the online dating adventures of regular-guy Dave Kroupa, a hard-working single dad seeking companionship after a long-term relationship. What starts as a hopeful exploration of modern romance quickly spirals into a chilling narrative that interlaces themes of online deception, mental health, revenge, and complex human emotions.

Dave's decision to re-enter the world of romance through online dating is filled with promise and excitement. Lover, Stalker, Killer poignantly captures this journey with two vibrant but vastly different women, Liz (Jessica N Johnson) and Cari (Katie Otten). Both adept at drawing Dave out of his comfort zone, they offer a nuanced look into the multi-faceted nature of love and connection. Their entrance into Dave's life, however, sets the stage for an unnerving – and deadly – love triangle.

Dave sits for interviews throughout the documentary, but also delivers a surprisingly good performance in a brave and raw portrayal as he re-enacts his own experiences with a conviction that only someone who had lived through such a nightmare could bring to the table. His authenticity adds an interesting layer to the film, eclipsing the typical contrivances often found in reenactment-heavy documentaries. Very well done.

Under the direction of Sam Hobkinson, Lover, Stalker, Killer deftly constructs a nail-biting narrative, beautifully balanced between interviews and vivid reenactments. Key to this experience is a tight, crisp storytelling that keeps us glued to our seats. Hobkinson, known for his work on Fear City: New York vs The Mafia, brings the same sharp, investigative eye to this heartland saga, slowly unraveling his complex web of deceit that puts Dave and everyone he cares about in jeopardy.Lover, Stalker, Killer

With more twists than a snake with an itch, the film transcends typical documentary storytelling by weaving in potent themes such as second chances, the pitfalls of online deception, and the dangerously thin line between love and obsession. It's a heady cocktail that serves as a stark reminder of the dark side of digital intimacy.

In addition, Lover, Stalker, Killer succeeds in being more than just an engaging watch; it's an excruciatingly intimate cautionary tale for anyone navigating the world of online dating. It challenges viewers to confront the very real risks of opening one's life to strangers on the internet and encourages a savvy, discerning approach to digital relationships.

Lover, Stalker, Killer is a remarkable film, equal parts heart-wrenching and harrowing, offering a rollercoaster of emotions while painting a somber portrait of online romance. For devoted fans of true-crime and documentary thrillers, this Netflix feature is a must-watch - a gripping testament to the complexities of love in the age of likes and swipes.

5/5 stars

Film Details

Lover, Stalker, Killer

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
90 mins
: Sam Hobkinson

Ryan Avis; Jessica N Johnson; Chris Maher
: Documentary | Crime
A Netflix Documentary.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I don’t know if it’s clear, but I’m apparently on the spectrum."
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 9, 2024
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: Dave was recently out of a long-term relationship and eager to restart his romantic life, so he did what most people do: He tried online dating. Liz and Cari were two of his most promising connections, both single moms with winning personalities who helped bring him out of his shell in different ways. It should have been an opportunity for this hard-working, devoted dad to enjoy a second chance at casual romance, but it turned into a twisted love triangle, putting Dave and everyone he cared about at risk.


Lover, Stalker, Killer