My Friend Dahmer

107+ min. Marc Meyers, dist. by FilmRise c/o MVDvisual, www.mvdb2b.com. 2018. DVD UPC 760137106395. $27.45; Blu-ray UPC 760137106487. $32.95. Rated: R. F
In Bath, OH, during the 1970s, lonely teen Jeffrey Dahmer (Ross Lynch) had no friends and no prospects. His volatile parents, Lionel (Dallas Roberts) and Joyce (Anne Heche), careen toward an inevitable divorce. Frustrated with the marriage and his oldest son's strange inclinations, Lionel destroys his son's backyard shack filled with collected roadkill, which motivates Jeffrey to seek attention in school by pretending to have seizures for the amusement of other students. This catches the eye of fun-loving cartoonist John "Derf" Backderf (Alex Wolff), who appreciates the scholastic disruption that Jeffrey creates, even leading a Jeffrey Dahmer fan club to direct and sometimes join in the questionable high jinks. Over time, Jeffrey's morbid oddness grows as he daydreams about violently capturing an attractive male jogger who runs by his house, while Derf begins to grow uneasy about his friend's dark personality.
VERDICT Mixing teen comedy with serial killer cinema, this shockingly true story based on Backderf's graphic novel is a thoughtfully terrifying look at unmonitored tendencies and careless interactions combining to forge a serial murderer.

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