This is one of those strange films that people are afraid to say they have seen, that by showing interest in such a film will leave them permanently branded as deviant. Actually this exploration of the bizarre life of Jeffrey Dahmer is more an exploration of a mind descending into serial killing, mutilation, and cannibalization - a mind that just happened to be housed in a gay man- than it is a Hollywood Horror movie. Jeremy Renner surveys this tough role with all the little nuances that bring us into the mechinations of the serial killer's psyche, never making him win our approval, but at the same time offering a canvas of life incidences that somehow make us approach understanding of why this could happen. If we never study horrific deeds, we will never be able to treat or prevent them. Renner makes Dahmer a rather straight forward, obsessed young man, a youth who craves physical affection yet can only find it by relying on drugging his love interests. Pathetic on all levels. Much of what this film reveals is that the beginnings of Dahmer's illness were confined to the available sex clubs which are actually out there. Then the seductions broaden and we are shown how he gradually overcame his conquests and descended into mayhem. The victims we meet are likeable young men and the acting level is rather high in these difficult cameos. We are spared most of the sick and grizzly details of these murders and it is to the director's credit not to inundate us with that. The filming and the music and the lighting is all macabre and in keeping with the subject matter. In short, this is a 'psychobiography' of one of the last century's gruesome serial killers, but it is presented in a way that encourages thought rather than repulsion. Maybe more people will see it now that it is available on DVD.
Three and a half stars, but I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. If you are looking for blood and murder, you won't find it here. There is one puddle of blood, a pretty tame drill bit, and one flashing, bloodless cavity exploration. This isn't a film about Dahmer's killing spree; it's a "Pre-Dahmer" exploration of a young man's transformation. And even then, sorry to say, it doesn't have the ring of accuracy to those who know psychology. What 'Dahmer' … more
Pros: no Cons: yes The Bottom Line: _____________ As only Hollywood can, we have turned a psycho into a hero with the release of Dahmer. An independent release, they shot close to the shoestring budget and sometimes you can tell it, sometimes you overlook it, and sometimes they pull it off. Interesting work was done with coloration, displaying a good deal of Dahmers apartment either with red painted … more
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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