When it comes to serial killers, we are either sure of who did it or left unsure and stumbling over the fact that the killer never got caught, and are left to struggle with the proverbial “who done it and why” scenario. There are those unsure cases that range from The Zodiac Killer, to wondering that killed The Black Dahlia. We may never truly know what happen and who did it. Then we have the sure cases, the Wayne Gacy, the Summer of Sam and Jeffrey Dahmer. These serial killers were caught, the evidence was there, and then their legends grew.
IFC Films brings us “The Jeffrey Dahmer Files”, which seeks to take a new spin on documentaries and present the case in a new light. We get to meet three people that were connected to the serial killer and learn what they went through. We meet the detective that spent hours in the interrogation room with Dahmer, a neighbor who would go over to have food with him, and a medical examiner who had to sift through all the bones, and body parts of the victims.
Those are the people we get to meet in the documentary part, but during the movie part we get to meet the man himself Jeffrey Dahmer. Segments of this film flash back to Dahmer in everyday life. We see him buying barrels, meeting guys and buying supplies. It brings upon a new light. If this were a film that was about Dahmer we would see him killing, disposing of the bodies, and getting caught. We never see it, which makes this different and interesting at the same time.
There is some stand out parts of the film. Every time the detective comes on the scene you are drawn to him. His tales range from, picking out the cloths, to convincing Dahmer to confess. You want more and you feel like his story alone could carry the film. The neighbor gives some great insight about how the building dealt with becoming famous. She would get offers of 100 dollars to sit on the couch Dahmer sat on.
The medical examiner parts appeared forced at times and are not compelling. They really get lost in this film. Even during his most important parts, when they talk about the skulls and other body parts, it gets intertwine with the detectives stories of the same time period. The Jeffrey Dahmer parts leave a void. They are always short and leave you wanting more.
Usually when I think of documentaries, I think of how we can help the environment, or how eating a new way can help, us or how something is made. You usually don’t get a detailed story about people so close to a serial killer. Usually there might be some TV special that airs for an hour, but 20 minutes of it is pure commercials. If you want to hear some interesting first accounts of Jeffrey Dahmer this is a must watch.
If you enjoy watching Discovery ID or have seen the “Snow town Murders”, then find some popcorn and learn more about Jeffrey Dahmer. If comedy is your favorite type of movie then take a skip.
If this movie gets your taste buds going, you can check it out here The Jeffrey Dahmer Files