My Friend Dahmer

Director: Marc Meyers
2017 | USA | 107m
GENRE: Biography/History | Drama | Drugs/Addiction | Gay | Mental Health | Mystery/Thriller
SECTION: US Feature
Expected Guests: Director, Marc Meyers, Actor, Ross Lynch, Producers, Adam Goldworm & Jody Girgenti

Marc Meyers’s dark and incisive portrait of young Jeffrey Dahmer, based on the best-selling graphic novel of the same name, teems with tension and pitch-black humor. To his high school contemporaries in the late 1970s, including his buddy Derf, Dahmer’s outbursts at school, along with his collection of animal corpses, were seen as quirks that made him an oddball celebrity. Mischievous students cheered him as he shrieked at classmates and faked seizures on the floor. Even his distraught parents (Anne Heche and Dallas Roberts) brushed aside his increasingly erratic behavior, distracted mostly by their own crumbling marriage.

My Friend Dahmer seeks to understand how no one in this cozy Ohio suburb suspected that this quiet (and quietly closeted) introvert would later become not just a murderer but also one of the most notorious serial killers in history, with an infamy that rivals that of Jack the Ripper or the Zodiac Killer. With a combination of detached insight and deep-seated pathos, Meyers’s film expertly examines how a budding teenage sociopath thinks and behaves. Thanks to a deft and fully committed lead performance by newcomer Ross Lynch, we come face-to-face with Dahmer as he struggles to impress and get close to the very friends he wants to hurt the most. What begins as a thoughtful character study builds into a terrifyingly believable portrait of evil — one that hides in plain sight.

— HARRY VAUGHN

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Another Hole in the Head Film Festival