23 Best Cult Documentaries of 2024 and Where to Watch Them

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Whether you’re a first time watcher or a veteran, there’s no denying it: cult documentaries are wildly fascinating. That’s probably why the genre — much like the meteoric rise of its cousin, true crime — has grown so rapidly in recent years. With new titles added to the lineup of best cult documentaries faster than you can stream them, it begs the question: why do we collectively flock to stories about cults?

There are a lot of theories out there. Amanda Montell, author of Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism, explained to Teen Vogue that “historically speaking, people’s attraction to cults, both the tendency to join them and the anthropological fascination with them, tends to flourish during periods of larger existential questioning.” It’s during uncertain times — say, the sociopolitical, environmental, and economic climate we live in now — that people feel compelled to seek out answers and explore alternative ways of living. Pair that impulse with skyrocketing rates of loneliness and many cults’ promise of built-in community, and you’ve got an easy recipe for vulnerability and manipulation.

And it’s not only traditional, hierarchical cults that prey on this vulnerability today; for anyone who’s lost a family member or friend to the cult of conspiracy theories on platforms like Facebook and X, cult documentaries can offer a window into an all-too familiar psychology. For others, the draw is less personal. If you count yourself in the latter group, the best documentaries about cults might simply scratch your voyeuristic itch to see good intentions — which some of these groups do start out with — go bad.

Regardless of your fascination’s root, the best cult documentaries of 2024 offer as much warning as they do spectacle. From utopian communes gone wrong to megalomaniacal leaders who cultivate truly out-there personal faiths, we’ve rounded up the best docuseries and documentaries that look into Heaven’s Gate, the Manson Family, the Branch Davidians, and more.

Content retrieved from: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/23-best-cult-documentaries-2024-110000749.html.

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