My Friend Dahmer review - Ross Lynch shines in an otherwise dull narrative
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Verdict: Viewers expecting a suspense-filled thrill ride will leave disappointed; for lovers of a (very) slow pace only. Set in the late 1980s, My Friend Dahmer observes the personal life of who would come to be known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, in the months prior to his first killing. Marc Meyer’s new biopic is not the suspense-filled thriller many viewers may expect, but it does offer an interesting look into the headspace of Jeffrey Dahmer in his formative years. The film can be best appreciated as just that: an observation of a deeply troubled, true-life character. Each scene works in revealing an aspect of Dahmer’s life that could be deemed either a trigger for his sociopathic manner or a result of it, creating a picture of the boy behind the killer, rather than merely portraying the evil that modern society know of him – the film presents a Dahmer uninfluenced by his subsequent killings, only focusing on the here and now (or, more aptly put, then and there). Technically speaking, My Friend Dahmer is slick in its cinematography and uses camera movement to its advantage, emphasising Dahmer’s instability and social ostracization effectively through its visuals. The film is actually at its finest when it projects Dahmer’s mind onto the screen creatively and blurs the lines between his reality and fantasy. This is where the film’s potential lay: in its creative ability to present an infamous killer in a different light. However, whether the film fulfilled this potential is questionable. Whilst the film offers a new insight into the life of Dahmer and the serial killer genre as a whole, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of narrative and engagement.
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