Netflix review: “Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story” not for faint of heart
The Concordia Courier
By Caleb Kelm | 10/28/2022
In the hit new Netflix series “Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story,” writers Ian Brennan and Ryan Murphy depict Dahmer’s gruesome murders and mutilations. In the 10-episode series, Brennan and Murphy illuminate the process, crimes and motives behind the notorious serial killer.
From the very first scene, the viewer is brought into the very uncomfortable mind of Jeffery Dahmer. Feeding into the morbid curiosity of certain viewers, Dahmer’s continuous system of killing is introduced with disturbing detail. The show's strongest themes lie in its ability to facilitate the tension and awkwardness that actor Evan Peters portrays through Dahmer’s mannerisms. Highly credited for his role as Dahmer, Peters does a fantastic job at mimicking the eerie and uncertain character that entices any fan of horror.
Beginning with the escaped man known as Dahmer’s final victim, the intense and vile impulses that plague Dahmer are seen not only in his actions but in his apartment as well. Designed to be an exact replica of the real location for the majority of these murders, Dahmer’s decaying apartment only adds to the unnerving and immersive experience. The next few scenes and episodes bring the viewer through Dahmer’s unstable childhood as they try to answer how he got to this point. The series aims to contextualize the situation and gain an understanding of Dahmer’s motives while constantly illustrating Dahmer's uncontrollable process of luring his targets.
Criticism of the show has snowballed and has not been entirely positive. Many have questioned the outright need to revisit the story of Dahmer. Much of this discussion has focused on the way in which systemic racism had allowed Dahmer to continue his crimes, while also shedding light on his primary target: young Black and brown men.
Some of the victims’ family members have spoken out against the series, saying it is unnecessary to go through this trauma again. Due to its bizarre nature, the stories of Dahmer and his victims have recently been used to create many movies and television series. For these victims and families, the devil of Dahmer is still allowed to be present in their lives.
Amidst the controversy, the series has gotten mixed reviews. The Hollywood Reporter, Vulture and IMDb all gave positive reviews while Rotten Tomatoes, Vanity Fair and Metacritic all were generally negative in their reviews. However, this did not slow down the popularity of the show. Netflix’s weekly top 10 report noted that “Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story” topped English TV for two straight weeks and in its first week was top 10 in 92 countries. Regardless of how Netflix's new series is received, its popularity is without question.
If you are interested in a creepy series filled with drama, consider checking out “Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story,” but fair warning, the show is filled with grisy detail that may cause some to hide behind their pillows or leave the nightlight on.
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