Ctrl+Alt+Desire is the best true crime doc of 2024 so far

Ctrl+Alt+Desire is the best true crime doc of 2024 so far

Paramount Plus just dropped Ctrl+Alt+Desire, a brand new documentary on the sinister Grant Amato case — here’s why it’s the best true crime series of 2024 so far. 

Don’t get me wrong, this year has seen some impeccable entries to the genre already. The Natalia Grace follow-up Natalia Speaks was a great start, followed by Netflix’s impeccable American Nightmare. 

More recently, Quiet on Set exposed the sinister happenings behind the scenes of 00s kids’ favorite Nickelodeon shows, sparking a much-needed conversation about the safeguarding of children in the entertainment industry. 

I could go on, and while these are all noteworthy contributions to the true crime world, nothing has impressed me quite as much as the new Grant Amato docu-series, Ctrl+Alt+Desire. Warning: Spoilers ahead. 

Why Ctrl+Alt+Desire is the best true crime doc of 2024 so far

There are many reasons why Ctrl+Alt+Desire is top of my list, one of which is that it brings completely new information and perspectives to the table. The docu-series centers on Grant Amato, the cam girl addict who emptied his parents’ retirement funds before murdering them both, as well as his older brother, in 2019. 

It’s always risky covering familiar ground — especially when true crime legend, YouTuber JCS, has already covered the case. We saw this unfold with What Jennifer Did earlier this month. Though I appreciated Jenny Popplewell’s Netflix documentary, it was criticized for not offering any new insights, a situation which wasn’t helped by the fact that JCS’s deep dive into the Jennifer Pan case is one of his best videos (it’s got more than 42 million views at the time of writing). 

Similarly, last year, JCS released a doc on the Amato case titled ‘Son Spends $275,000 of Dad’s Money on Virtual Girlfriend’. So when I heard Ctrl+Alt+Desire was in development, I was apprehensive. 

However, from the outset, it’s clear this is different. Filmmaker Colin Archdeacon was able to base his docu-series on exclusive, in-depth conversations with Grant from prison, starting from just before his life without parole sentence in 2019 and spanning four years. 

Ctrl+Alt+Desire is the best true crime doc of 2024 so far

Colin spent four years speaking with Grant

Through these exchanges, which were carried out partly through the prison phone system but mostly from illicit smartphones Grant obtained, Colin comes to discover the triple murderer’s true nature. It’s chilling to watch Grant manipulate the narrative, making it hard to separate fact from fiction until the final reveal. 


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Ctrl+Alt+Desire also highlights how Grant’s delusions are still going strong behind bars, speaking exclusively to a new cam model who he obsesses over. As well as sharing clips of Grant’s video messages to her, one of which sees him calling her his “edge queen,” the doc features an exclusive interview with the model, although she chooses to keep her identity anonymous. 

Again, this information is completely new, helping to paint a picture of Grant’s mental state and motives. The first time, he killed his entire family to continue living a lie. But by showing that he’s found a new virtual girlfriend, one he obsesses over in similar fashion, it confirms that he’s still a danger to society.

After seeking the assistance of a Bulgarian reporter and translator, Colin is even able to track down the cam girl Grant did this all for: Silviya Ventsislavova. Although she’s not interested in going over what happened, it’s commendable that she is found at all, making for an interesting reveal in Ctrl+Alt+Desire Episode 3. 

Ctrl+Alt+Desire is the best true crime doc of 2024 so far

Silviya became an obsession for Grant

Significantly, in the third and final chapter, Grant – after losing his appeal – decides the jig is up and he confesses to the murders. But rather than doing so to his surviving half-brother Jason or his defense lawyer, he tells Colin. It’s such a significant turning point in his case, proving just how much Colin put into developing a relationship with Grant. You can see how uncomfortable it makes him, but he continues on to tell the story. 

All of these major turning points are contextualized with interviews from experts, attorneys involved in the case, and camming models, offering fresh perspectives and insights into the chilling case. 

With its gripping narrative and revelations, led by Colin’s meticulous storytelling and unprecedented access to Grant, Ctrl+Alt+Desire is not only captivating but also serves as a poignant warning about the dangers of loneliness and unchecked desires. And I have no hesitation hailing it as 2024’s best true crime docu-series of 2024 so far. 

Ctrl+Alt+Desire is streaming on Paramount Plus now. For more true crime, here are all the documentaries hitting streaming this month.

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