Most people have heard of Jeffery Dahmer, the depraved killer who gained infamy in murdering seventeen men and boys over thirteen years. But what was he like before his first kill, as a teenager in high school? My Friend Dahmer tells that story.
Jeffery (Ross Lynch) lives in a dysfunctional household, lacks friend, and is a loner. He is a weird, uncomfortable loner. But he still has to get through each day and each class as best he can. But, one day, he gets the attention of others by acting out and engaging in silly antics. To their amusement, and led by Derf Backderf (Alex Wolff), Jeffery is adopted into a new group of friends and things seem to be looking good. But the fun does not last forever, as Jeffery’s problems continue to bubble to the surface and he becomes even more disturbed than he was before. Jeffery Dahmer’s youth unravels before our eyes in this dark, twisted interpretation of his time before becoming a killer.
Ross Lynch, famous for his time on the Disney Channel, delivers an impassioned performance that is one to behold. His mannerisms, even the slightest way in which he holds his head or walks, communicates the troubling mind that Dahmer had. In his portrayal, Lynch is even able to bring about some compassion and sympathy for his character.
Alex Wolff, whose character serves as Dahmer’s new friend and somebody who shows care for him, gives a stellar performance that would serve as a precursor to his more colorful and haunting role in Hereditary.
This film had an incredibly small budget and was made for less than $2 million. It ultimately went unnoticed by most in theaters and earned approximately $1.3 million. But, for enthusiasts of dark subjects, this is certainly a story that is not to be missed. It is a unique and fascinating look at a figure that, obviously, deserves scorn in our modern history for their actions.
It is not difficult to see how, and why, My Friend Dahmer could easily become a cult-classic among purveyors of the weird, but also among film enthusiasts. This is a character-study, and Lynch’s method acting is rather surprising for somebody who is known for children’s programming. Hopefully we will see more from Ross Lynch on the big screen, but so far the majority of his screen presence has been on Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as Harvey Kinkle.
My Friend Dahmer is now available to stream on Amazon Prime and Hulu.