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With Jim Sabatini

My Friend Dahmer

My Friend Dahmer
Ross Lynch and Alex Wolff, Anne Heche and Dallas Roberts

Rated: R for disturbing images, language, teen drug use, drinking and sexual content, and for brief nudity.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: December 8, 2017 Released by: FilmRise

Many a blank stare and drooping posture, as well as collection, dissolving and dissection (of road kill) are to be observed in a future serial killer in 1978 from a low-budgeter that could be a cousin to Gus Van Sant's Elephant.

Jeffrey Dahmer gets the formative treatment as a lost, loner of an outsider in his latter high school experience (part of the filming occurred in the main character's actual Bath Township, Ohio native area) in My Friend Dahmer which just skims the surface of what would become extreme crude savagery. An impaired teen as acted with lifeless lugubriousness by Disney Channel dancing and singing star Ross Lynch (in quite a transformation).

Not the typical coming-of-age contacts — living without really feeling — with an uncanny look when it comes to fashion, blonde hair and large glasses. It's hard to see through his opaque gaze, where a smile would be likened to a major dental extraction.

So, none of the horrors are immediately apparent in what's probably construed as a foreboding blast from the past from Richard Linklater. A fairly well constructed and interesting examination of a delicacy inside the hideousness. The regular ups-and-downs aren't visible, but, to Lynch's credit, the shaded and petrifying are subtly effective in traipsing into a hellish descent. That still may be a little unclear to even discerning viewers.

'Jeff' would show off a class-clown side and make 'friends' with a coterie including John 'Derf' Bachderf (Alex Wolff) whose cartoonist aplomb would witness spastic episodes in public before alcohol and drugs would lead to estrangement.

This objective bona fide depiction isn't presumably meant for enjoyment of a boy coping with the discord of his disparate parents (Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts) and getting advice from one of them about being 'normal.' Helmer and co-writer Marc Meyers isn't trying be any sleuthing analyst about someone who would warm up to bones more than the opposite sex. It's not the confession of a criminal mind in what may be rigid and hunched like the physical portrait even as Lynch in a way pledges that he is in the incipient phase as a dramatic thespian.

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