Luther: The Fallen Sun has definitely caught the proper attention of everyone watching Netflix in 2023: the movie continues the plot of the famous BBC series released from 2010 to 2019, with Idris Elba as DCI John Luther and Andy Serkis as David Robey, the real antagonist of the movie. The plot is quite disturbing, spinning around the evil figure of David, a man who organizes an authentic Red Room involving many spectators watching criminal acts in real-time. And, obviously, the curiosity peaked: are Red Rooms real? Is there a true story that inspires the movie? Let’s find out.
You can watch the official trailer for Luther – The Fallen Sun here on Youtube.
What’s the Red Room in Luther – The Fallen Sun? Are they real, and is there a true story?
At some point, in the middle of the movie Luther – The Fallen Sun, Superintendent Martin Schenk says to John Luther that “Red Rooms don’t exist.” What he really means is that the concept of the Red Room is an infamous topic that exists on the dark web, but it has never been found any evidence that a Red Room was really organized in real life.
Let’s go step by step. What is a Red Room? It’s precisely what we see in the movie: an online event where many sick people pay to watch a disturbing show: a perversion that excites disturbing people who enjoy watching real murders, rapes, or other tortures. According to the format, people would pay a considerable amount of money to participate in real-time, watching the Red Room from the dark web, as a simple form of pleasure.
Is it something out of reality? Not at all. The existence of people who enjoy watching this kind of criminal act is documented. It’s one of the reasons why human trafficking or other forms of abuse are diffused and filmed. And the dark web is really a place where you can buy these kinds of videos for thousands of dollars. There are several disturbing true cases of people kidnapped, tortured, and even sold off on the dark web. The videos recorded with the tortures inflicted on them are called “snuff films,” and they’ve been depicted in many modern movies, like Snuff (1976), Thesis (1996), or The Counselor (2013).
So, for sure, there are sick people on the dark web compatible with this kind of activity, and there have been cases of videos sold on the dark web containing criminal acts filmed on camera. And there has also been a documented case of a pay-per-view framework where people were buying video recordings of horrible abuses made by a criminal who wanted to profit from his sadistic instincts. It’s a case that exploded in 2015, his name is Peter Scully, and his story is on Wikipedia.
What probably doesn’t exist is a Red Room as shown in the movie Luther: The Fallen Sun, with a live-streaming platform where people can connect and watch in real time. That’s because the dark web has several technical limitations that make live streaming quite impossible: there are encryption mechanisms that would drastically slow down any streaming, and the browser used in the dark web, Tor, is much slower than the average browser, not recommended for streaming. That matches the plot in Luther – The Fallen Sun, where John Luther explains that the villain wants “to make a real nightmare come true” for the first time.
This means that, unless a new evil mastermind comes up with some alternative way to make an illegal live stream possible out of the public Internet, a Red Room won’t exist still for a long time. And no true story that could inspire a movie like Luther will ever occur. Luckily. But undoubtedly, there are people out there who would enjoy them if they existed.