The world knows Jeffrey Dahmer as a sadistic, man-eating monster. It’s difficult to picture him as an innocent teenager. I myself thought of Dahmer as a Hannibal Lecter of sorts, with body parts lining every crevice of his apartment and childhood home.
"My Friend Dahmer" portrays the infamous serial killer in a different light. We forget Jeffrey Dahmer used to be a teen who went to prom and pep rallies just like the rest of us.
The film is based on the graphic novel of the same name by John “Derf” Backderf who knew Dahmer from grade school to high school. The film follows Dahmer as a high school senior to his first murder at 18.
Jeffrey Dahmer is played by “Austin and Ally” star Ross Lynch and Derf is played by Alex Wolff.
To Derf, Dahmer was just Jeff. At the beginning of the movie, he was just a quirky kid who couldn't make any real friends.
Although his parents loved him, they had a strange liking to his younger brother David more. His parents were in a custody battle over David, but didn’t think about Jeffrey.
They even left him alone in the family house after divorcing, which is when Dahmer murdered his first victim, Steven Hicks.
The movie doesn’t necessarily aim to make you have empathy for the serial killer, but it does make you understand how he became what he was.
With no one to talk to, Dahmer spent most of his time out in his lab in the woods, where he experimented on roadkill. He was interested in the bones and would bleach them in the acid from his chemistry set.
If you want to see even more telltale signs, go here.
When Dahmer “befriended” Derf, Derf and his friends would urge Jeffrey to "spaz" and fake seizures in the mall and at school. It appears they used him to make fun of him, so the extent of Derf and Jeffrey’s friendship is uncertain.
As Jeffrey’s parents were at the breaking point of their marriage, he became more withdrawn. He started drinking and having strange sexual fantasies.
It is in this movie that you wonder whether anything could have been done to prevent Dahmer from committing 17 murders.
Where does the line between oddball teenage boy and serial killer/cannibal/necrophiliac begin?
Lynch does an especially great job at playing Dahmer. His acting will make you unnerved, yet at odds with young Jeffrey.
Zac Efron is the next Disney star to play serial killer Ted Bundy in the upcoming film, "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile."
Good Luck Zac, Ross may have you beat.