Viewed – 23 June 2018 online-rental
When movies attempt to tackle the subject of a real life serial killer, the results are often sensationalist tabloid rubbish that fail to reveal anything new or a deeper understanding. This movie tries to show a side of one of America’s most notorious killers during his high school years, before he became a monster.
Jeffrey Dahmer (Ross Lynch) is portrayed as a heavily introverted loner school kid who gets befriended by some other kids who go about promoting yet inadvertently ridiculing him in an attempt to bring him out of his shell. Jeffrey goes along with such treatment in a desperate bid to find a connection and a distraction from morbid urges, confusion with his sexuality and constantly quarrelling parents.
Director Marc Meyers’ movie fails to delve under Dahmer’s persona to reveal what made him tick or how such urges developed that eventually lead to particularly depraved murders. Instead we have him as little more than an oddball that would occasionally act out for attention. Newcomer Lynch gives a subdued, rather weak performance, perfecting a slumped stance but not much more. The casting of Dahmer’s parents (including a stand-out Anne Heche) is more interesting and from what I hear, pretty much on the nail. Based on a graphic novel by Dahmer’s high school friend this more than likely throws in some artistic licence with what went on and who Dahmer actually was, but ultimately fails to do much more than showcase a weirdo with a few alarming habits. Considering who Dahmer became, this barely hints at any of it, making the final scene feel a bit of a stretch …despite the facts.
Verdict: 2.5 /5