If you’ve ever searched Google with the term “American Serial Killer,” finding the name Jeffrey Dahmer is foolproof. Between 1978 and 1991 Dahmer murdered seventeen men and boys, many of them people of color. Which makes him one of the most famous serial killers of all time. Dahmer, who was also a sex offender, was known to engage in activities such as dismembering corpses, chemical preservation of body parts, cannibalism as well as necrophilia with his victims.
Since serial murder has always been a very popular selling topic for both screen and paper, it is not surprising that there have been many interpretations of its story over the past three decades; Some date back to 1992 when he was still alive. The new Netflix series from Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan starring Evan Peters in the titular role is the latest in everything but what sets this apart from most others is the extensive uses of the victim perspective.
Taking a 180-degree turn from the usual awkward dialogue and the signature head-turning style that can be seen in most of his popular works (American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Glee and Scream Queens to name a few), Murphy takes a subdued documentary-style storytelling style. To some extent, it works in his favour.
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022) Netflix Miniseries Recap:
The non-linear narrative oscillates back and forth and is often viewed entirely from the perspective of the victims.
1991 In an Oxford apartment building in Milwaukee, 212 tenant Glenda Cleveland (Emmy Award winner Nessie Nash) is deeply concerned about the suspicious activities of her next-door neighbor Jeffrey Dahmer. Looking out from her door opening, Glenda sees Dahmer coming to his apartment with a young African American man.
We see him walking into a gay bar and picking up a guy named Tracy Edwards (Sean J. Brown) with a promise to pay him to have his pictures clicked. Tracy goes to Dahmer’s apartment and soon discovers his true evil intention. He was still able to find an opportunity to beat Dahmer and escape. A frightened and worried Tracy encounters police officers John Balcerzak (Scott Michael Morgan) and Joseph T. Gabrich (Matthew Allan) and leads them to Dahmer’s apartment. This eventually leads to Dahmer’s arrest and the police find other disturbing objects such as human remains, several heads in the freezer, two skulls, and a huge tympanum containing various bodies decomposing in acid.
We come to the climax of Dahmer’s odd childhood in Ohio and the dysfunctional relationship he shares with his parents Lionel (Josh Bratten) and Joyce (Savannah Brown). He is completely separated from his drug-addicted mother and the only bond between father and son seems to dissect the path that kills together.
His parents soon divorced and Dahmer was left completely alone in the summer of 1978 when he committed his first murder by way of a traveling lure with the promise of a few beers. The killing is followed by Dahmer dismembering the body, dissolving the body in acid, and crushing the bones with a sledgehammer.
Lionel (Richard Jenkins, who plays an older role) eventually returns to Dahmer’s life with Sherry (Molly Ringwald) who later becomes his stepmother. He enrolls his son at Ohio State University in hopes of a more proactive future and when Dahmer ends up expelling him from college he is sent to the military.
Two years later, being in the military also doesn’t work for Dahmer nor living in Miami because he can’t stand it on his own. He returned to Ohio and eventually moved to West Alice, Wisconsin with his grandmother. However, he continues to make trouble by publicly revealing himself at a government fair and in turn loses his job as a phlebotomist. His relationship with his grandmother also became bitter when she found a male figurine in his bed and realized he was using it for sexual purposes. He finds a “new hobby” drugging gay men and ends up being prevented from entering the bathrooms upon arrest. However, this does not stop him and he continues his evil deeds in high-end hotels.
His relentless murderous instincts drive him to take more lives at his grandmother’s house and dispose of the remains through the pretexts of embalming. One of the victims is accidentally saved by the sudden intervention of his grandmother.
Dahmer is soon arrested for molesting a thirteen-year-old boy, but he is released after spending a year in a correctional facility. When asked to leave his grandmother’s house, he moves into the infamous Oxford apartment where he murders 12 of his victims including the brother of the boy he had molested before.
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022) Netflix Miniseries ending, explained:
Has justice been served?
Upon his arrest, Dahmer confessed to all his crimes and was effectively sentenced to life imprisonment. Lionel is devastated but welcomes the idea of making use of it all by writing a book and making money from it. Inside the prison, Dahmer begins receiving letters and money from people who worship him as a kind of hero and are drawn into his darkness. Dahmer’s conversion to this type of cult and semi-celebrity upset the families of the victims as well as the black inmates of the prison. He was stabbed by one of these prisoners but soon recovers. Dahmer decides to proceed to baptism to wash away his sins and “God save him” which pleases Lionel. Ultimately, though, Dahmer meets his fate when he is beaten to death by prisoner Christopher Scarver.
After Dahmer’s death, Lionel and Joyce got into a legal battle over whether to preserve his brain for further analysis and research or destroy it. Judgment goes in Lionel’s favor and in honor of Dahmer’s wish, he is destroyed.
She pushes Glinda toward a garden on the site of the now-destroyed Oxford apartment in memory of the victim and announces that she is willing to wait for her to breathe. However, it was eventually revealed that no park or monument had been built at this site.
The biggest question that arises here is, has justice really been served?
Given that Dahmer was arrested and ended up in prison, in broader terms it was so. But the endless amount of pain and suffering the victims’ families had to go through suggests otherwise. Because of Dahmer, the people in the Oxford apartment were forever traumatized and eventually had to move. Glinda had to live with memories of the stink from Dahmer’s apartment and also her inability to save the 14-year-old boy from the monster despite her best efforts.
Even after all he did, Dahmer still received decent treatment from the police and authority for being a white male while many families of the victims were harassed and harassed because of the color of their skin. A black man who believes in the true God seems like a form of poetic justice. For the families of the victims, knowing that Dahmer is not breathing in the world they live in is a huge relief after all.
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022) Netflix Miniseries review:
One of the biggest problems with most Serial killer movies/series is the unfortunate glorification of the controversial character and justification for their action. In this context, this miniseries turns out to be a revelation because it refuses to give the main character any kind of fantastic scenery or engaging dialogue. It strips him of any kind of magic and presents Dahmer as a character who is dissected for her work.
What makes this series even better is how effective it is in becoming the story of the victims and Glinda, who emerges as the true hero of the story who is actually trying to save people from Dahmer. This is also proven by introducing the character of Glenda in front of Dahmer in the first episode and ending the last episode with her as well. In one episode, Tony Hughes’ life is explored from his birth until he eventually becomes one of his victims. This is a clever way of telling stories and a clear indication of who to sympathize with.
There couldn’t be a better actor than Evan Peters to play this role. Peters plays the role with a permanently rigid face and a somewhat harsh attitude that prevents the audience from feeling bad for him or sympathizing with him for even a second. This is a huge achievement for any actor. Along with Peters, Niecy Nash and Richard Jenkins give absolutely amazing performances. Molly Ringwald as Sherry and Penelope Ann Miller as the older Joyce stars. Needless to say, the writing, directing, cinematography and editing of this series are all completely subjective.
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022) Netflix Miniseries Takeaways:
What is the general impact of presentation in the context of today’s world?
The greatest thing this show has been able to achieve is not to get caught up in the shackles of an ordinary serial killer story. As far as Dahmer is concerned, it is also about white privilege, racism, and how the whole system and people are affected differently.
There is a certain scene in which we see Glenda Cleveland desperately trying to save a fourteen-year-old boy from Dahmer, but Officer Balcerzak and Gabrish constantly ignore her and stand by Dahmer mainly because he is a white man. These two officers are eventually fired but soon return to their job and even receive a heroic welcome after their return. In a somewhat terrifying turn of events, we see these officers unidentified threatening the family of a child who was killed by their incapacitation. This is very frustrating to look at but maybe that’s the point. Dahmer is a psychopathic monster who got his due but there are monsters walking among us and they will always have their perks.
White Dahmer’s privilege is further defined when a white judge views him from a somewhat sympathetic perspective, despite child molestation. On the other hand, even after receiving the Citizen’s Merit Award, Glenda Cleveland is still being harassed by the police, and her daughter is arrested for simply damaging the camera of two white men who were already taking pictures of their Oxford apartment for their amusement.
The primary purpose of any art form is certainly creative expression, but when the content is as exciting as Dahmer’s story, there is a certain responsibility. Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan fully understood this part and were able to create something that raises all the right questions, and makes the audience truly uncomfortable and angry about the world they live in, even in a modern day context.
Read more: Devil in Ohio (2022) Netflix Miniseries: Review, Synopsis, and End Explained
Dahmer – The Beast: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022) Show Links – IMDbAnd the Wikipedia
Dahmer – The Beast: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022) Cast – Evan Peters, Richard Jenkins, Molly Ringwald, Nessie Nash, Khivat Vagnasay
Where to Watch the Beast: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
Source : www.highonfilms.com