TV Review: Netflix`s “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” (2022)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Until this point, after having watched so many films and documentaries about serial killers, I used to think nothing can beat the genius of  “Monster,” “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile,” “No Man of God,” “The Frozen Ground” and so on. I do realize that each story that makes it to the small or big screen can be imitated by some insane person who would like to repeat what was seen on screen. Another fear of true crime thrillers is how to avoid the glorification of a murderer that for some may appear as an ideal teacher for crimes. Created by Ryan Murphy, “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is a series that you will wish to unsee. But once you watch it, I assure you, you will never forget it.

The series follows the real-life cannibal and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters), who seeks potential victims in gay bars, brings them home, drugs them, and, after they pass out, begin the gruesome process on them. One of his victims at his home is forced to watch “The Exorcists” repeatedly, while Dahmer promises all that he needs is to take photos. What his victim does not realize is the blood he sees on the mattress belongs to one of Dahmer’s previous victims. But when Aaron manages to escape and eventually bring the police back to Dahmer`s apartment, it’s then that the shocking discovery is made that marks a beginning to the most unpleasant story that will disturb you to the core.

Jeffrey’s neighbor, Glenda Cleveland (Niecy Nash), complains to police about disturbing noises coming from Dahmer’s apartment. She even tells the authorities about the weird smells coming out of his apartment. She knew something was off. The noises are not a sign of a loud person who disrespects his neighbors at night. It’s the noise of struggle, pleas for help and fight, when one is being defeated. If that is not enough for the police to show how incompetent they are, the most shocking scene occurs – one I personally cannot forget and perhaps will never do. If it was just a film or fictionalized story, it would not bother me much. But it actually happened and the police did nothing to stop it.

Be prepared for episode two as it revolves around Dahmer luring a 14-year-old teen, promising him a hundred bucks if he agrees to have private photos taken at his premises. Konerak Sinthasomphone (Kieran Tamondong) is drugged half-naked and outside of the building where he just escapes. Glenda and her daughter call the police, trying to convince them that he is just underage. When Jeffrey arrives, he tells the police that the boy is 19 years old and a boyfriend. Police believed the white man that the Laothian man is his boyfriend and not underage and returns him to Dahmer’s apartment, handing the unconscious boy to be killed the same night by the serial killer. The sad truth is that there was another body in the room that the police failed to notice after their poor inspection. Be prepared for those scenes because the sound of the drill coming out of his apartment afterwards is the most horrific soundtrack you will ever hear.

Not to reveal much, “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is a series you would want many people to watch, yet be terrified of their reaction. It does not glorify the murders but provides the story from the perspective of victims and police misconducts. It’s appalling how the Jeffrey Dahmer case was handled and how manipulative and persuasive he was. He could stand in front of the judge and easily paint an image of a saint and innocent person, when in reality, inside of his mind, he was just planning another murder for that night. As the series unfolds, many chilling aspects of Dahmer murder cases are revealed/ Rest assured, it does not paint him as someone who you can fall for. In fact, it captures the true nature of Dahmer, which the title perfectly states as a monster.

As for the performance, what can I say other than Evan Peters has got me. He got me to the point where I want to punch him through the screen. I wanted to scream at him and tell – how dare you? His performance is bone-chilling, impressive and so believable, I don’t think I am willing to see him in anything else for a while. He is so scary as Jeffrey Dahmer, he will make you hate Dahmer and see through him what Dahmer was – a wicked being. Niecy Nash as the main heroine of the story is phenomenal. Richard Jenkins as Lionel Dahmer, Jeffrey’s father is quite chilling too. By looking at him you can tell where the problem comes from. But you just don’t know how to express it.

But what can you tell when you watch the entire mini-series? You will have many questions. Questions are not related to the storyline but to real-life events the series depicts. In one thing you will be certain, and Ryan Murphy is great at showing it – no wonder why there are so many killings around and crimes that are being committed repeatedly. With the lack of interest shown towards Dahmer, I am surprised that we still have people left on this earth. When you carry a badge and swear to serve and protect, it does not mean to protect one’s salary and secure the job. It’s about protecting the very same victims that are being killed every day either by the serial killers or due to domestic violence which the justice system willingly turns a blind eye to until the actual crime occurs. And that alone is such a big problem, but sadly, the justice system has not learned from its own past mistakes.

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