My Friend Dahmer

My Friend Dahmer focuses on the young life of the infamous American serial killer, focusing on his high school years, up until the time of his first murder. This is a genius creative decision as it creates incredible amounts of tension, all without showing a single murder. Furthermore, this early focus allows for an in-depth character study, seeking to find out the motivation for his crimes. In that regard, there are themes of isolation, sexuality and family; all of which are well-formed. In terms of the genre, the script conveys the film as a coming of age tale thereby bucking the trend of the standard biopic. Presenting a film about the teenage experience which also features a soon to be serial killer. What’s more, the script doesn’t present Dahmer as evil, there are even times when you even feel something akin to sympathy for him. The performance of Ross Lynch as Dahmer is fantastic because he plays as both unpredictable, and also truly unsettling. Dahmer’s parent Joyce and Lionel, (Anne Heche and Dallas Roberts), in particular, are outstanding as they truly paint a picture of the dysfunctional family life. Roberts portrays Lionel as a man who is worried for and desperately trying to connect with his son. The film sublimely dissects the mind of Dahmer, creating an experience that feels unlike anything else; allowing you to see his rawest form. Everyone knows how the story ends, but the script and the performances are good enough to still make every minute enthralling. The only issue is that the film is overly long with a lull in the second act. To conclude the film is an excellent and truly gripping character study of a broken, twisted mind.
3.5/5
Reviewed by Luke.

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