My Friend Dahmer is based on a graphic novel
The Toronto After Dark Film Festival kicked off on Thursday with the opening night gala presentation of My Friend Dahmer. Adapted for the screen by Marc Meyers, this biopic is based on a Derf Backderf's graphic novel of the same name. Backderf is a former classmate of Dahmer and the film follows his final high school years in 1970s Ohio.
The audience witnesses Dahmer progress from dissolving roadkill to killing animals himself, which eventually culminates in his first human victim. The film is more empathetic towards Dahmer than one might expect in a biopic about a serial killer. Insight is provided into his family and school life. My Friend Dahmer shows the pressure he faced to fit in at school and how his parent's divorce fed his aggression. Dahmer tries to cope with homosexual feelings, alcoholism, and loneliness. Finding friends through an inappropriate impression, they use "dumb Dahmer" to play jokes and make their mark on the school before they graduate.
The film took a slow pace, but had several tense moments when violence is about to happen. Ross Lynch completely transformed into Jeffrey Dahmer, a stark contrast to the bright, peppy characters he played in his Disney Channel roles. My Friend Dahmer is a unique story of a teen with no support system struggling with inner demons that take him down a dark path.