Altitude Film Entertainment | Release Date: November 3, 2017
7.4
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Generally favorable reviews based on 31 Ratings
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6
MattBrady99Nov 10, 2017
LIFF31 2017 #3

"I think we should form a Dahmer fan club." "My Friend Dahmer" takes a comedic turn on Jeffrey Dahmer's story. Focusing on the back story without the kills. Ross Lynch, best known for the Disney channel, which isn't a joke or
LIFF31 2017 #3

"I think we should form a Dahmer fan club."

"My Friend Dahmer" takes a comedic turn on Jeffrey Dahmer's story. Focusing on the back story without the kills. Ross Lynch, best known for the Disney channel, which isn't a joke or an insult. Anywhere, through out the film Lynch pulls a pouty face and trying to look insane. Not saying he was bad, just needed to dial it back a bit. Other than that, decent effort.

Putting aside some terrible acting and awkward humor; we assume a film like this would fall completely flat on it's face, which didn't happen here. While not great, but it at least deserves some praise of making this come together. Marc Meyers focus on what Dahmer could've been if the darkness didn't take over him.
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6
TVJerryDec 14, 2017
Former Disney Channel star Ross Lynch goes deep with this departure from his previous TV fare. He play the titular character, who later became notorious when he confessed to raping, killing, dismembering and cannibalizing 17 men. This filmFormer Disney Channel star Ross Lynch goes deep with this departure from his previous TV fare. He play the titular character, who later became notorious when he confessed to raping, killing, dismembering and cannibalizing 17 men. This film doesn't detail any of that, but pre-shows his awkward teen years. It exposes the family influences and twisted inclinations that would later develop into his depravity. Lynch plays the role with a pronounced slump and a deadpan demeanor, but manages to bring sensitivity to the intimate and sometimes uncomfortable portrayal. Anne Heche turns in an awkward, quirky performance as his mother. This intriguing curiosity doesn't have much dramatic impact and is a film that would be rendered uninteresting if we didn't know what the future held for Dahmer and his victims. Expand
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5
psychomuseJun 30, 2018
It tells the macabre story of Jeffrey Dahmer, which is certainly engrossing material (like any tragedy that ends with grisly deaths). Unfortunately, the whole thing feels like an afterschool special with overwrought acting and patronizingIt tells the macabre story of Jeffrey Dahmer, which is certainly engrossing material (like any tragedy that ends with grisly deaths). Unfortunately, the whole thing feels like an afterschool special with overwrought acting and patronizing dialogue. The story is true and it is what it is, but this movie could have been made so much better. Expand
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6
tiparSep 29, 2018
A 6 because I can not vote with a 5'5 and I always round up. NO HORROR, more a Black Comedy than Horror. Slow but well done and acted.
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5
Bertaut1Dec 30, 2018
Tonally flawless, but narratively weak

Taking place over the course of Jeffrey Dahmer's last year in high school, and culminating with the fateful meeting between Dahmer (Ross Lynch) and Steven Hicks (Dave Sorboro), writer/director Marc
Tonally flawless, but narratively weak

Taking place over the course of Jeffrey Dahmer's last year in high school, and culminating with the fateful meeting between Dahmer (Ross Lynch) and Steven Hicks (Dave Sorboro), writer/director Marc Meyers's My Friend Dahmer is based on the 2012 graphic novel by Derf Backderf (played in the film by Alex Wolff), who attended the same school as Dahmer, and formed a pseudo-friendship with him. The film is tonally brilliant, coming across like The Breakfast Club directed by David Fincher, perfectly capturing 80s tackiness. Narratively, however, it's extremely plodding, and could easily have been trimmed by 20 minutes.

It's also difficult to see what Meyers was trying to achieve; other than a couple of brief moments, we're never given any real access to Dahmer's interiority, so he remains an enigma, always at arm's length (which could have been the point). But is Meyers asking us to feel sympathy for Dahmer because he had a difficult adolescence, came from a broken home, couldn't make friends in school? Or is this simply a character study (if we didn't know it was about Dahmer, it could be any number of examinations of high school awkwardness)?

The lack of clarity regarding the film's theme is compounded by the scenes where it looks as if Dahmer is about to murder someone, only to stop at the last second. This is an especially strange way to generate tension, insofar as we already know his first murder was Hicks. Also, if the film is actually trying to say something of societal worth regarding serial killers, directionless youth, nature vs. nurture etc, trying to draw an audience into the narrative with the prospect of murder probably isn't the way to go about it. The film also fails to really get into the issues of Dahmer's sexuality, and his confusion and frustration about being gay. It's worth a look, and Lynch's performance is quite something, but if you're already familiar with Dahmer's story, you won't find much insight here.
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