Series Review: American Nightmare

No, this is not a documentary on the wrestler Cody Rhodes. Just a poorly named 3-part series about a truly harrowing crime.

In 2015 Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn were fast asleep when men broke into their home, drugged them and took Denise. Aaron of course went to the police, and found himself the prime suspect after what he described seemed stranger than fiction. Denise re-appears in 2 days, completely traumatized and the police now accuse them of doing this all for attention. It shouldn't take you long to guess who's in the wrong here.

At least once a year I watch a true crime documentary that is so insane, I can't believe I didn't know about it before hitting play. American Nightmare is that for me. Was this all over the news? Maybe just locally, because I have no memory of it. What Denise and Aaron went through is awful, and the fact that they are able to calmly talk about it now is a miracle itself. 

At a brisk three 45 minute episodes, this makes for an easy show to binge, but it does have its faults. It plays into a lot of the sensationalism that affected this case in the first place, and I really hope it was with Denise and Aaron's permission because I can't help but feel a little gross at how the first episode in particular is staged after getting the full story. From a narrative point, I get WHY it's done that way, but it just feels a little wrong considering what Denise specifically went through. I just hope she gave the okay for it.

The title is awful. Netflix needs to do better at naming these docuseries. It should be something more specific to the people themselves. Nothing about this case is particularly American, though it is a nightmare. Personally, Denise says something that is a little on the long side, but I think would've made for a better title. "What more do I have to do for you to believe me?"

Grade: B


  1. That is an awful title. Wrestling fans would assume it would be about Cody Rhodes FINALLY finishing his story.

    1. It has the generic true crime photo to go along with it, but they really need to do better naming these things.


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