My Friend Dahmer
My Friend Dahmer (2017)
Critic Consensus: My Friend Dahmer opens a window into the making of a serial killer whose conclusions are as empathetic as they are deeply troubling.
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Critic Reviews for My Friend Dahmer
Meyers makes "My Friend Dahmer" a convincing high school drama, but his portrait of the serial killer as a young man telegraphs Dahmer's future all too clearly.
My Friend Dahmer is at its most provocative when it considers this dynamic between the exploiters and the exploited. In making Dahmer feel like a freak, did the boys push him over the edge into a murderous contempt for all people?
Which came first, bullies or dead animals in jars? "Friend" does not say, nor is there a clear link between the discord in Jeff's home and his behavior.
It seeks not to excuse Dahmer but rather to illuminate his sociopathy.
A morbidly fascinating peek behind the blood-stained curtains.
Audience Reviews for My Friend Dahmer
An excellent character story about a truly awful character. This is a very difficult subject matter to tackle, but Marc Meyers does an excellent job picking the right tone and frame of reference to study one of America's most notorious serial killers. Ross Lynch also does an excellent job in the role, and had a highly competent supporting cast. I suspect most people have a memory / feeling of that moment when they are dreaming and the austere sensation hits where their dream shifts into something more sinister. This is that moment before you fall, get caught or whatever nightmare you want to insert here. My Friend Dahmer lives in that space for a full hour or more. You watch this movie naturally tense, this sort of subject matter always starts with an uneasy sense of place and time. This film does a great job of sharing a glimpse into the impulses, motivations and spiral of events that molded one of history's worst. I think this movie really succeeds because it is not an apologist piece, a macabre stint into the grotesque, or the usual trapping some of these films fall in to. The film does not really revel in any particular aspect of Dahmer's life. It feels so genuinely real, and perhaps that makes it all the more impactful.
A very interesting character study that does a fine job to build a nuanced portrait of a high school outcast prior to becoming a famous serial killer, and it benefits from some good performances and a nice amount of subtlety that is essential for a film like this to work.
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