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My Friend Dahmer


Stars: Ross Lynch, Anne Heche, Alex Wolff, Dallas Roberts, Vincent Kartheiser, Brady Dunn, Michael Ryan, Gaby Novogratz

Director: Marc Meyers

We can't think that many people are busting to see a film about the college days of mass serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (who dismembered his victims), but here it is.

Nicely made and competently performed it is, but a wee bit wearisome. You keep waiting for our teenage 'hero' to kill someone.

A weird kid, bespectacled (if good looking) Dahmer (Lynch, scarily like the real thing) - no one calls him Jeff - is obsessed with bones and entrails, picks up 'roadkill' ('I'm trying to quit,' he tells us) and dissolves dead cats in acid (after dissection).

His mentally fragile mother (a raucous Heche) and chemist father (Roberts), who spends 'too much time in my laboratory', are always at each other's throats. Meanwhile, Dahmer has his own mini-laboratory in the garden shed - which his father belatedly destroys.

Mooching around the classroom, Dahmer has no friends until he invents the 'spaz', going berserk in school corridors as if he were having a fit. Then a little cult forms around him, headed by Derf Backderf (Wolff), on whose graphic novel the film is based, and who later narrowly avoids becoming the psycho killer's first victim. What comes before this, however, is somewhat unexciting.

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Altitude. Colour (unspecified).
106 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 31 May 2018