The film, which had its Canadian premiere at Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival, focuses on Jeffrey Dahmer’s high school years
Monster. Murderer. Cannibal. There are many ways to describe Jeffrey Dahmer, one of America’s most notorious serial killers. One word that doesn’t typically come to mind, however, is human.
Yet that’s exactly how he’s portrayed in My Friend Dahmer, and it’s largely why the film is such a success. Directed by Marc Meyers and starring Ross Lynch as a young Jeffrey Dahmer, the film takes us through Dahmer’s late adolescence and young adulthood.
A loner with few friends and an interest in bones and dissecting road kill, Dahmer was a peculiar child who struggled to socialize. He manages to make friends with a group of boys interested in taking part in his silly pranks. But as he gradually succumbs to his inner demons and dark desires, they begin to distance themselves, noticing that something is wrong. Something is off about him.
The film does not romanticise Dahmer or his actions, but charts his trajectory from troubled teen to serial killer in a way that underscores his humanity. Based on the cult classic graphic novel of the same name, My Friend Dahmer is eerie, chilling and raw, portraying Dahmer as a troubled teen struggling with a family that’s breaking apart, alcoholism and his own fetishes.
My Friend Dahmer had its Canadian premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal on July 16. For more information, visit fantasiafestival.com