The six-year-old child beauty queen’s death has been the subject of countless documentaries and television specials, mostly focusing on the circumstances of her death.
Netfix’s production does the same, but from a unique and unsettling angle. It enlists her neighbors to play parts in the documentary.
As unsettling as that sounds, apparently there were no shortage of local Denver residents willing to play Jon Benet, parents Patsy and John Ramsey and brother Burke Ramsey.
Jon Benét’s murder is one of those sensational crimes where people just can’t look away. The morbid curiosity has been impossible to slake.
Netflix’s production goes into the community to cast “actors” and quizzes them on their own personal theories about the case.
The trailer opens with an early morning shot of a country road and cuts to the Ramsey’s upscale house; two police cars, lights flashing are parked out front.
The scene shifts to a Jon Benét look-a-like auditioning for her role. She bears an eerie resemblance.
“My name is Hannah,” she says. “And I’m auditioning for the role of JonBenét Ramsey. Do you know who killed JonBenét Ramsey?”
A series of men and women flash on the screen, each announcing the character they hope to play.
Netflix says its documentary is different because it “examines how this crime and its resulting mythologies have shaped the attitudes and behavior of successive generations of parents and children.”
One thing is certain, Jon Benet may dead and gone, but she’s gained eternal life as a caricature of herself.
“Casting JonBenét” premieres at the Sundance Film Festival and will air on Netflix on April 28.
Check out the clip below.