★★★★ | My Friend Dahmer
Jeffrey Dahmer, the American who murdered 17 young men back in the 1980s and 1990s, was showing signs of strange behaviour at a young age, according to the new film My Friend Dahmer.
Based on the 2012 novel of the same name by cartoonist John Backderf, who had been friends with Dahmer in high school, the film shows how Dahmer came from a home where his parents constantly fought, and where he had an unnatural curiosity of the insides of animals. Dahmer, who grew up in Bath, Ohio, is brilliantly played by Ross Lynch, in a film that’s sharply edited and continually tense and spooky by the director, and writer, Marc Meyers. We see that Dahmer was awkward even to his own family, with a crazy and alcoholic mother (played by Anne Heche – in her best performance ever), and how Dahmer had a shed in the woods where he did certain experiments with animals.
Dahmer is eventually adopted by some of the cool kids in his class to perform certain acts that drew attention to himself, basically these acts were spasms set out to cause disruptions, but they also seemed to do something to Dahmer’s soul, for he became more and more intense and weird, turning some of his evil thoughts from animals to, eventually, humans. Dahmer even plotted to kill a local doctor whom he became attracted to, but it was not meant to be. But it’s in these early years that we see the beginnings of Dahmer’s sinister future – how he would end up becoming one of the world’s most cruel and crazy mass murderers.
Luckily for us, this film ends before the killings begin, but we know that this was the path that Dahmer’s life would take – the murder of many gay men in some of the most brutal and horrific ways.
My Friend Dahmer is an excellent film that preludes an adult life where Dahmer would turn into a complete monster.
My Friend Dahmer is released in the UK & Ireland on June 1st.
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.