Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, is a harrowing autobiographical crime drama series on Netflix. The show gives viewers a glimpse into Jeffrey Dahmer’s psyche and recounts the horrible crimes he carried out between 1978 and 1991.
When Jeffrey was interrogated, the authorities found craniums, men’s pelvises, and other bits of his victims’ carcasses that Jeff had kept after killing a total of 17 men.
The series, which Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan co-created, covers a variety of topics. One that stands out is how appearances can be deceiving, as demonstrated by the fact that Dahmer, a good-looking man, receives a free pass from the authorities and hardly faces any charges for his murders.
The story, which is primarily recounted from the viewpoint of Dahmer’s victims, describes how the justice system’s inadequacies and police inefficiency allowed the serial killer to continue his murderous streak for several years.
In addition to seeing the police’s incompetence that allowed the mass murderer to continue his decade long killing spree, the show also showcases a glimpse of how Jeffrey frequently abused his white privilege because the law is sympathetic towards him when he is accused of certain offenses.
Most serial killers experience a difficult childhood, and the suppressed frustration and rage eventually surface through their crimes. This is also evident in the show’s story of Jeff. The show highlights the neglect he received from both of his parents while he was growing up.
The dysfunctional relationship between Jeff’s mother and father is marked by constant disputes and confrontations, and to make things worse, neither one of them makes any attempt to keep this hidden from Jeff. Instead, they simply neglect him. His father was always there to help him when he messed up, but he wasn’t emotionally present with him. We see how he tries to talk to his father about his fantasies, but despite sharing the same fantasies as Jeff, his father avoids the subject.
Despite Joyce Flint’s best efforts, sources claim that she became prey to excessive medications, which caused a rupture in her marriage. Up to 26 tablets were consumed by Jeff’s mother daily when she was pregnant with Jeff.
The show demonstrates how Jeff’s transformation into a serial killer was significantly influenced by his environment. It is also commendable to see that they did not overlook showcasing his formative years, which is vital for molding a person’s personality. The show’s creators are clever because they resist simply attributing his actions to genetic factors and they refuse to opt for the simple solution. Although biology is unquestionably vital, the environment is also essential, and they seem to realize this and make their case convincingly.
In Dahmer, we undergo a psychological and emotional journey. Although we can’t help but feel disgusted and furious with Jeff, we can also sympathize with him and feel sorry for him. Although Jeff and Lionel share fundamental characteristics—like DNA, fantasies, and passions – they grow into adults who are drastically different people. The show depicts Jeff’s transformation into the person he ends up being intricately, earning our sympathy.
Grief in particular is expertly dissected. It’s impossible not to be in admiration of its absolute brilliance; it’s as if a psychologist helped them build this show. The relationships between even the smallest things and their underlying reasons are beyond remarkable.
Dahmer poses difficult philosophical questions and brings up significant ethical issues for us to think about. It provides us with two sides to many arguments and gives us the opportunity to pick the side we think is justified, which is fantastic. It encourages people to think for themselves rather than handing straightforward answers or declaring something as right or wrong on a silver platter.
The show’s setting is aesthetically appealing and perfectly complements the storyline. The mood of Jeff’s flat is dark and gloomy and nearly seems to reflect his personality. The fact that his house is in a remote neighborhood only adds to the chilly storyline. The gay clubs Jeff frequently visits, the butcher shops he works in, and his childhood home all contribute to the dark plot and heighten the underlying chaos.
The plot moves ahead at an ideal speed, gradually disclosing information that will possibly be revealed in the upcoming chapters. Although the show switches between different timelines, it does so in a way that doesn’t feel strange or confusing; in fact, it enhances the charm of the show.
The actors are all excellent here and in particular Evan Peters who truly showcases every quality required in a serial killer. He portrays a chilly exterior while also being convincing; he is vicious and odd but still manages to win our sympathy; he is repulsive but also attractive. He seems to portray the polar opposite of everything he is, as if he were able to play both sides of a coin – and he does so effortlessly.
Jeff’s father, Lionel, doesn’t just play the character; he truly owns it. He effectively portrays every necessary emotion and catches every subtlety. Without a doubt, Jeff’s father earns our respect and our sympathies with his fine performance.
Ultimately though, Dahmer is a well written and thought provoking crime drama and certainly one of Netflix’s best originals this year. It’s also well worth a watch.
Verdict - 9/10