My Friend Dah­mer

Dir: Marc Mey­ers 1hr 45mins (15) The mak­ing of a se­rial killer

The Week - - Arts | Film -

My Friend Dah­mer is “sad­der, weirder, more bor­ing – but more con­vinc­ing – than the av­er­age se­rial killer movie”, said Sim­ran Hans in The Ob­server. It’s based on the graphic novel by John Back­derf, who in the 1970s at­tended the same Ohio high school as Jef­frey Dah­mer – the boy who would later be­come in­fa­mous as a mul­ti­ple rapist, mur­derer and can­ni­bal. This twisted mem­oir looks back for early signs of what was to come – young Dah­mer’s mor­bid in­ter­est in an­i­mal bones, for ex­am­ple, or his ten­dency to fake seizures to amuse his class­mates. What’s truly “dis­qui­et­ing” is that our anti-hero – played with eerie de­tach­ment by Ross Lynch – en­dures “no spec­tac­u­lar trau­mas, just the kind of stuff that mil­lions of kids go through”, said Ed Pot­ton in The Times. He doesn’t have many friends; his self-ab­sorbed par­ents break up; he’s ver­bally bul­lied at school. That’s it. This mood piece of a film, which ends be­fore any­thing grisly hap­pens, shows ad­mirable re­straint, said Alex God­frey in Em­pire. But the over­all ef­fect of its side­ways glance into a “mixed-up soul” is “more in­trigu­ing than en­gag­ing”.

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