Directed by Marc Meyers and based on the novel by Derf Backderf, My Friend Dahmer is the story of a teenage Jeffrey Dahmer, the American serial killer.
It’s mainly the hope that Ross Lynch would do a mesmerising job of playing Dahmer that’s a key reason for why I saw this movie. Lynch certainly presented well physically which made him stand out as a convincingly odd yet intriguing character. However, I wouldn’t say that ‘mesmerising’ is quite the word. I also wanted to satisfy my curiosity about how similar Dahmer’s childhood was compared to other serial killers I’d heard of. I’d say the answer is ‘not too different’.
What Meyers really shows us in this movie is young Dahmer’s struggle to belong in high school, his less than ideal home life and some of the early signs of who he was likely to become in the not too distant future. The thing we don’t get to learn much about is Dahmer’s psychological state. His journey from ‘not quite carefree teenager’ to full blown serial killer felt incomplete in parts because I wanted to know more about young Dahmer. He seemed distressed but he never cried, nor did he do much talking. This may be the reason I didn’t feel as though I connected to his human side much. At least not as fully as I could have
Overall, My Friend Dahmer is an OK film. Anne Heche, Alex Wolff, Dallas Roberts and the rest of the cast performed well. I guess I just wanted a deeper understanding of Dahmer instead of what felt like a glimpse into part of his teenage years. There’s a part of me that also wanted to feel terrified, I wanted to believe the darkness in Dahmer’s soul more. I wasn’t really scared in this movie until towards the end, in the scene without lights.
What’s suddenly become clear to me is that I should probably watch a documentary about Dahmer, or a movie that starts from his first murder in order to get all the information I want.
Watch it if you’re very curious. Otherwise, maybe find a documentary or wait for Zac Efron’s turn as another infamous American serial killer, Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.
Happy Film Loving