Into The Abyss

A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog turns his documentary lens on death row in the United States. Here, two men await their own death – they are murderers who killed three people.

Into the Abyss explores these murders which occurred in the small Texas City of Conroe in 2001 and the killers behind it.

Michael Perry and Jason Burkett, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, murdered a middle-aged housewife; they then gunned down her stepson and his friend.

The film features Conversations with the two inmates and those affected by their crime.

Unlike many of the films that deal with crimes, Into the Abyss isn’t concerned with figuring out exactly what happened, but rather serves as an examination of why people – and the state – kill.

In an attempt to start a dialogue on death penalty however, Herzog lets the viewer decide through the events retold by police evidence, and the interviewees in question, whether or not these permanent actions are infallible.

The documentary film use parts of police investigator shots at the crime scene and accentuates the footage with interviews with the detective in charge of the case and the family members of the victims.

The film does not focus on Perry’s guilt or innocence and features a minimal amount of narration, with Herzog never appearing onscreen, unlike in many of his films.

Into The Abyss
  • Info
  • Release date2011
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Werner Herzog
  • Production companySkellig Rock