Based on the book, My Friend Dahmer depicts the infamous serial killer’s final year at high school, before the killing started…
Ross Lynch is the latest lad from across the pond looking to shed that squeaky-clean Disney image. And he succeeds in leaps and bounds in comparison to his Teen Beach Movie (2013) co-star, Garrett Clayton who has only managed, most notably, the mediocre Don’t Hang Up (2016) and the derogative and ridiculous King Cobra (2016).
With Dahmer, Lynch doesn’t break character for a single moment. His eyes are dead and black like a shark. The guy is like walking Death. At times it can be a little funny in contrast to all the smiling and talking school-goers that surround him…until that creeping soundtrack puts things in perspective. A special mention for Dahmer’s mother, played by Anne Heche. She’s good at playin’ them crazy chicks!
The cinematography, for me, was on point: pensive, voyeuristic and intimate. Even beneath the spine-tingling synth, a melancholy tune would begin to play via piano. All combined I felt strong sympathy towards Lynch and his sad spiral, in spite of the flesh-melting of animal corpses, plans of murder and fantasies of a deceased lover. The power of film-making at work, people. Unfortunately it doesn’t change the fact that not only was Dahmer completely and utterly insane, but his murders were legendary. He was one sick motherfucker.
For a short while I was impressed with how the crew had done such a good job replicating the Dahmer family home. It looked exactly like the pictures and footage from books and documentaries I had seen up to now. Such a good job. Afterwards I soon realised they’d pulled a Sinister (2012) on us. Just like Ethan Hawke’s ill-fated real crime author, production had moved in to the house where it all happened. Considering what took place there…that is just a little bit fucked up.
Questionable locations aside, what I found to be the most disturbing thing about the movie was a particular moment that came while watching Dahmer’s behaviour at school. That moment when you think back on your own high school days and remember that you used to know a kid like that. Didn’t everyone? Did you take part in making fun of him? Where is he now? And who is that behind you?
If you know me, which you won’t, I am definitely not known for my interest in the Extras section of any DVD/Blu-ray release unless I am a huge fan of the movie. But in this case, the sheer lack of any Extras whatsoever is a head-scratcher. It’s not like there’s a shortage of books, articles and docs on this guy, but not even a ‘Making Of’? Come the fuck on, guys!
Great acting. Great movie. Where the fuck are the Extras?