I’ve seen a lot of scary things on television. Including, for example, this Sunday’s amazingly chilling Dexter finale. But I can say with full confidence that last night’s HBO documentary Every F—ing Day of My Life was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen on television. (See the trailer below.)
The documentary, brought to us by filmmaker Tommy Davis, follows domestic abuse victim Wendy Maldonado while she prepares to check into prison for ten years. And just why is she going to jail? Because she and her son killed her abuser — who happens to be her husband — with a hammer and hatchet.
It’s a brutal crime, but one that you can’t help but put in quotes. For Maldonado’s husband, Aaron, spent years physically abusing his wife and four children, continually taunting them with threats of killing them. (The title of the documentary comes from Wendy’s 911 call; when the dispatcher asked if Aaron tried to hurt her before she murdered him, she responds, “Every f—ing day of my life.”) And, sadly, you can understand why they felt those threats would come true: Stunning home video footage shot by Aaron clearly captures the fear in Wendy and her sons’ eyes. (For example, when Aaron softly calls her name in one video, Wendy flinches to attention and sends him an emotionally detached air kiss.) And the video footage of Aaron rough-housing a dead deer is even more haunting, if only because it makes you imagine what he did to his living family.
The film brought up the inevitable question: Is it right that Wendy and her son have been forced to spend ten years in prison for their actions—they agreed to a plea bargain—or should their actions have been considered self-defense? Either way, it’s impossible not to feel emotionally moved in several different directions upon seeing the documentary. (The documentary will air again tomorrow at 8 p.m. See here for all future airtimes.)
Did you catch the documentary, PopWatchers? Were you also terrified? And what was the scariest thing you’ve ever seen on television?