My Friend Dahmer
Dir: Marc Meyers 1hr 45mins (15) The making of a serial killer
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”.