Director: Marc Meyers
Writers: Marc Meyers, John Backderf (based on the book My Friend Dahmer by)
Stars: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche
Please Note: The Following May Contain Spoilers (But I Tried Hard Not To)
Wow, this was genuinely difficult to watch. Okay that sounds like I’m being negative about the film but I am absolutely not. It is brilliant and as a viewer I was left feeling extremely uncomfortable and slightly unnerved watching the portrayal of a known serial killer leading up to his first actual kill, so I think the movie absolutely nailed it.
The casting as a whole is really strong but oh man….Ross Lynch’s portrayal of Jeffrey Dahmer is outstanding! Seriously, to be able to bring so much to this character allowing you to see the soon to be killer peeking out from behind this horribly awkward lonely kid who knows his obsession with dead animals is kind of weird, but it fascinates him and separates him from the broken/troubled family life. Then there are the ‘friendships’ he makes by being weird for others entertainment while also discovering that when needed he can be an extremely smooth talker convincing people to do things that most others wouldn’t think he could achieve, case in point, getting a prom date. There were so many times I found myself feeling sorry for him until moments later he’s doing something ultra-creepy again which quickly reminded me of who he is and what he goes on to do. It’s strange to think though, would he have always ended up being a serial killer or was it the events in his life (broken home, being used by so called friends) that led him to it? I’m also sure that researching information for those questions would lead me down some sort of google rabbit hold of psychological studies and serial killers….maybe that’s a challenger for a different day.
Overall it is a well crafted and interesting story but it is a slow-paced movie, very serious and as I said before difficult to watch. You will spend a lot of time sympathy cringing for Dahmer because he is a strange person with very strange habits. However, as I said before it is an excellent portrayal which, from my understanding, is based on the graphic novel of the same name. Fun fact, the author of said Graphic Novel is a character in the movie which I only just realised after watching and reading some trivia about it.
So on a finishing note if, like me, you can’t watch in one sitting, I do encourage to finish the film because you won’t regret it at all.
My Score: 7.5/10
Watch If You Like: True Crime and films about criminals and historical figures.