Not for the squeamish or easily triggered, the haunting, sad and surprisingly tender My Friend Dahmer tells the true story of Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer, in high school, before he became notorious for his shocking and grisly crimes. Written for the screen and directed by Marc Meyers, this film is based on the acclaimed 2012 graphic novel of the same name by real-life Dahmer classmate and former friend Derf Backderf (played by Alex Wolff in the film).
With pitch-perfect period detail, impressive for what must have been a low-budget, the film takes place in the late 1970’s. Jeff (played by former Disney Channel star Ross Lynch) is an awkward, lanky teenager struggling to make it through high school with a family life in ruins. Torn between an insufferable self-obsessed, dangerously unhinged mother (Anne Heche, channeling some of her own public battles with mental illness) and a neglectful, milquetoast father (Dallas Roberts), young Jeff spends most of his time in the shed out back, dissolving the remains of roadkill in jars of acid stolen from his dad’s chemistry lab.