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Dahmer (2002)

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Jeremy Renner, Bruce Davison, more...
Director: David Jacobson, David Jacobson
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: First Look Pictures
Genre: Biopics
Running Time: 102 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish
    see additional details...

This title is currently out of print.

A low-key glimpse into the life and crimes of one of history's most notorious serial killers, Dahmer doesn't concern itself with the gruesome nature of its protagonist's horrific crimes, but rather the troubled mind of the man who committed them. Focusing on the later years in the life of Jeffrey Dahmer (Jeremy Renner), David Jacobson's film follows the troubled killer from department store to gay nightclub as he stalks his prey and battles his inner demons, all the while providing contrast to current events with flashbacks from the days during which madness finally gained an inescapable grip on his already unstable mind. From his days in a Milwaukee chocolate factory to nights spent haunting the streets in search of prey, the viewer peers cautiously over the edge of an abyss so deep and so far-stretching that most minds will never fathom the truly monstrous nature of Dahmer's heretofore unprecedented crime spree. As he befriends and brings home yet another potential victim in the form of an outgoing young man named Rodney (Artel Kayaru), Dahmer is forced to confront his past as the two grow increasingly close over the course of the evening. Will Dahmer have a glimmer of humanity during a night of intimate and revealing conversation, or is it already too late for the unassuming young man who has fallen into the same trap as so many before him? ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Portrait of a Serial Killer as Misunderstood Lonely Guy by WAkers December 26, 2002 - 11:45 AM PST
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
There are 2 groups of people that don't like this movie:

a.) those that think it wasn't violent enough, gory enough, perverse enough, etc. This is the camp that would purchase the Dahmer refrigerator off of eBay and store their weekly groceries in it. (also the ones who have probably TASTED human flesh and jerked off onto a male mannequin that's stored in their closet.)

b.) those that don't think it was factual enough, that it didn't cover enough of the murders, that the lead actor didn't look enough like Dahmer, etc. This is the camp that would purchase the Dahmer refrigerator off of eBay and not tell anybody about it. (yuppie fucks so empty that the details of serial killer crime sprees became latte-chatter fodder for them.)

I, for one, enjoyed the movie. I didn't need it to be more violent or perverse because I am familiar with Dahmer's crimes and knew the extent of his debauchery.

I think Jeremy Renner did a good job portraying Dahmer as a lonely, fucked-up, misunderstood guy with an empty, shitty existence that was compounded by family problems, a dead-end job, and a sexual orientation that he seemingly couldn't come to terms with.

I don't think the movie set out to answer all questions about Dahmer, to explain his entire family history, to provide a tangible explanation of his motivation for his crimes, or even to show all of his crimes. I don't think it needed to show him in prison and being killed and blah blah blah. Those of you hoping for the "Jerry Bruckheimer version" with a neat, happy ending where justice is served may very well be dissapointed.

If you are in any way familiar with the crimes he commited, and posses a bit of knowledge of his past (upbringing, young adulthood, etc.) then you may enjoy this film.

It's not perfect, to be sure, but I thought the flashbacks worked well with the relatively short period of time that the "narrative" part of the film covers. Also, the commentary on this disc is good for figuring out what the director was trying to say/portray. Worth the rental.

Would be interested in other people's thoughts.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.27)
11 Votes
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