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Documentary

Twisted documentary 'The Imposter' has Netflix users shocked

Netflix has released The Imposter, a documentary released in 2012 and directed by Bart Layton. Users who have not seen the film have been left shocked and unsettled by its terrifying story, gaining the documentary much attention.

The film tells the story of a boy called Nicholas Barclay, who disappeared in Texas in 1994 after he was playing basketball. Three years later, he was “found”. After a lengthy and unsuccessful search, with no body found, police assumed the child had been kidnapped and the case was closed. However, once Barclay reappeared, having been relocated to Spain, his family were over the moon to have him back.

However, their son underwent extreme changes between 1994 and 1997, now having brown eyes instead of blue and speaking with a French accent. His family overlooked these changes and welcomed their son back. 

This family were left horrified and distraught when it was revealed that the person they had welcomed into their home was, in fact, Frédéric Bourdin, a 23-year-old con artist who had posed as the young Barclay. 

The Barclays give their side of the story in the Netflix documentary, described by the site as “unforgettable, chilling and emotional. Despite glaring inconsistencies in his physical appearance, the boy’s family brought their long lost ‘son’ home to restart his life in Texas,” accompanied by Bourdin’s own experience.

Its the latest in Netflix’s collection of chilling true crime documentaries, and audiences have flocked to social media to share their thoughts on the chilling twister of a documentary. Reality star Shaughna Phillips posted: “Just watched The Imposter on Netflix, and honestly wtf was that.” Phillips also tells fans the documentary is well worth the watch.

Layton shared his vision and intentions with the film upon release with thatshelf: “Yeah, I mean ultimately it’s about trying to construct a visual language fitting to how unusual the film is. I think what Errol Morris did in The Thin Blue Line was to use reconstruction to find a truth that hadn’t been there before in the accounts. I think what’s different in this is that, first of all, I think that suggests you’re reconstructing what must have happened.”

He adds: “Whereas with this, I think it’s what people want you to believe happened. So that’s why I think those sequences warranted having a kind of noir, dreamlike heightened sense of reality. And so much of the story feels like it occupies a space between the real world and the movie world anyways. It warrants that kind of treatment, so I wanted to have a very strong visual grammar to the whole thing.”

The documentary The Imposter is available now on Netflix.