My Friend Dahmer (2017)

(Last Updated On: April 14, 2019)

Title: My Friend Dahmer

Year: 2017

Genre: Biography | Drama | Horror |

Runtime: 107 min

Director: Marc Meyers

Starring: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff,


A young Jeffrey Dahmer struggles to belong in high school.


The sole purpose of this feature feels unfinished.

It concludes on a much lower dimension than its full potential. As it showcases an early period in the famous serial killers’ life. His motivations for being that feels weak. There isn’t really a solitude or dimension of collision that drives him in that specified direction. This film does show how irresponsible his parents turned out to be, especially his mother, who suffered from the borderline disorder.

There is some eerie setting over the story. Right from the beginning, Jeffrey is depicted as abnormal, even from the beginning. He picks up road kills and skins them living for his own amusing. He acts out like he has spasms in school to get everyone’s attention. He acts out in an uncommon way which leads to he gets friends that appreciation for his action and not for his characterizations. This isn’t a violent film. It’s a biographical film about a violent man in the early days. It tries to show on what lead up to his future action, but it doesn’t sell that well to me. It doesn’t provide a story about a future serial killer, but it tries to create more sympathy for him than necessary.

Ross Lynch is slightly convincing in this case. He remarks although as an odd fella that does almost everything for money and attention. His acting is good and can create an uncomfortable atmosphere at home and in school. Alex Wolff, who befriends is best in every scene he’s in. He plays his character John Backderf, even more convincing. He has the charm and the aura to have a more realistic portrait of this character. It’s far from a horror- as you would expect or hope it even would be.

It’s based on a true story – movie, an adaption by John Backderf, who got to know Jeffrey in High School. It has some fun scenes and some heartbroken. But the real reason that actually leads up to what Jeffrey later did is barely explained in this movie, as said before.  It set in the 1970s as he was young and inexperienced with a lot of things, but the future action is only tendencies or remarks that are like the detail in a bigger picture. It’s easy to understand why it was way more important to create a character-study for Dahmer. But leaves more questions than answer. There is either additional storytelling to these characters, it’s like their trap in a loop of this storytelling. It’s foreseen to what’s going to happen to them. It would be needed far higher levels or dimensions of storytelling.

The movie itself it’s good and by no mean entertaining for the sole purpose – tell a biographical story of Jeffrey Dahmer, pre-killing. There barely any gore, just substance of his future that could have been used better. The storytelling works well with this movie thanks to some decent performance from the cast, which is sometimes even disturbingly realistic. It’s unfinished as there’s more to the story.

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Marcus J. Ström
Marcus J. Ström
Marcus Ström | Journalist/writer and Chief Editor.
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