Mind of a Monster

A Review of Dahmer – The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Cover to the show Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

Rotten Tomatoes

Cover to the show Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story

“I want to hear what it sounds like, before I eat it,” Jeffrey Dahmer says to the last victim as he lays on his chest and hears his heartbeat. 

Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer, cannibal, sex offender and necrophiliac. Between the years of 1976 and 1991, Dahmer murdered and dismembered 16 boys and men in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He eventually was arrested and convicted for his actions and sentenced to life in prison, where another inmate killed him later on in 1994.

Dahmer starts off with the man himself in front of his apartment kitchen sink, washing off a bloody knife used previously to do monstrous things. The apartment in the show is as close as it gets to his actual apartment, dull, empty and smelt awful. Dahmer then lights up a cigarette, sits down on his couch and takes a sip from his beer. His plain t-shirt, ominous stare into the camera gives the audience a feel of his personality and character.

Jeffrey Dahmer in the show is played by Evan Peters, who nails almost every creepy and mysterious aspect of the character perfectly. Peter’s adaptation of Dahmer’s personality and character really gives the audience a suspenseful and creepy reaction.. From looking similar to Dahmer as well as sounding very similar, this is the best actor creator Ryan Murphy could have picked for the role. 

The first episode shows exactly how he did his actions. Dahmer would go to a gay bar, trying to find a victim to satisfy him and bring home. When Dahmer finds his target, he interacts with them, dances and drinks with them to make him seem like a genuine nice guy. He invites the victim over to his place for what he says is a fun time, “How about you come over to my place, maybe have a couple brewskis, take a couple photos”. 

When entering his apartment, Dahmer locks the door with two different locks to make sure the victim doesn’t escape. At first, everything seems normal with Dahmer and his victim, until things take a turn for the worse. Jeffrey went to his fridge, grabbed a fresh beer for his guest, took it over to the kitchen counter and started stirring before handing over the drink. His guest refuses to drink what Dahmer gives him at first, but then eventually starts to drink the beer. Typically, this is how almost every scenario went down in his apartment, with slight alterations with each victim. 

The final victim of Dahmer escapes the hands of him, as he runs to go and tell the police about what just went down. The show has nonstop suspense and the scenes building up to the escape really show it. His neighbor next door watches the man run out of his apartment, almost naked, staring at Dahmer sternly as he watches his victim run away. Police then show up to his apartment, as Dahmer uses his persuasive ways to make the cops believe it was all a misunderstanding. 

Dahmer’s apartment was eventually searched where the police found pictures of dismembered bodies in his bedside table. Dahmer was then arrested and brought to jail as his apartment was searched for more evidence. Police found several freezers full of human remains such as brains and hearts, as Dahmer seemed like he was preserving for later use. There was also a barrel full of acid, which had several skeletons and dismembered body parts inside. Police believed Dahmer was trying to make “zombies” out of dead bodies of people. The show displayed everyone’s emotions and reactions to the news very well.

When Dahmer’s father, Lionel Dahmer, is pulled into the jail to be questioned, he gets hit right away with what his son committed as well as what was found in his apartment. His father breaks down, not believing the officers one bit as he thought something was off about Jeff, until the show dives deeper into his childhood.

As a child, Dahmer had a rough childhood. His mother was mentally unstable, after being on prescription medication while pregnant with Jeff. His mom and dad had consistent fights, with constant yelling going on. Dahmer himself was an unusual child. His interests were different from other children his age. He had a strong interest in dead animals. He would find dead rodents or other animals around his house or in the wooded area around him and dissect them to see the insides of them. He was really interested in how each part of the body functioned, which relates to his actions later on in life. Dahmer’s parents eventually found out about this and were creeped out about it after finding dead animals underneath their house Dahmer was storing. His parents got into a fight as he overheard his parents calling him weird and that he might need mental help. The show does a great job of picking up on every unusual thing Jeff did as a child, making it suspenseful and intriguing scene after scene. 

The show then dives deeper into the court case of Jeffrey Dahmer, where he was convicted to be locked away for life behind bars. There were scenes as testimonies were given that displayed the real life events accurately and were very serious and suspenseful. The entire time, we see Peter’s Dahmer sitting there, listening to the testimonies, giving testimonies of his own, with a solid stare into the camera and calm voice the entire time, which are accurate to the real life events.Watching each victim’s family members and give Jeffrey their final words gets emotional for the audience. The amount of shock and suspense each scene has during these few episodes is overwhelming but for a good reason.

Evan Peters playing Jeffrey Dahmer in court (Credit: New York Post)

After the release of the show, the creator and Netflix received very positive feedback as well as some controversy around the show itself. 

Dahmer not only killed children and men but specifically went after other races. The race he mainly targeted was African Americans, which to those who are african american can see as a very sensitive subject. Victim’s families have come out against the show, saying it is horrifying to retell the events of a horrible person. People saw Dahmer as a monster of a human and to bring light to this person did not make the black community happy.  The show received backlash from not only the black community but as well as the LGBTQ+ community. 

Dahmer would be relaxing and spending him time in bars, specifically gay bars. Dahmer’s character appeared to be homosexual as he would act sexual and hit on his victims. With all of his victims being male, people saw this being a very sensitive series of events for members of the community. People saw Dahmer as homophobic, as it seemed he targeted homosexual people. Despite seeming gay, Dahmer would use this to lure people into his apartment. The LBGTQ community did not like the fact that there was light being brought to such an awful person. People sparked controversy over the show just being sensitive in general. The way the show displays the whole story makes it very uncomforting and scary for others watching. 

The Story of Jeffrey Dahmer was a good retelling of the horrific story of the man himself and his background which might have caused him to act this way. Despite the controversy, the amount of detail into each scene and every character was phenomenal. Evan Peters portrayed Dahmer to the best of his ability and the creator took his time to perfect everything. Although some scenes are gruesome and sensitive, it’s good to watch due to the suspense throughout the whole show and the attention to detail. The actors all play their part amazing and make it worth the watch. Rotten Tomatoes has given the show a 58% on the “tomatometer” and it received an audience score of 83%. Overall, the show is a 4 out of 5 stars and worth every second of watching it.