Jeffrey Dahmer: 5 movies and documentaries based on the Milwaukee Cannibal 

A still from the new Netflix series (Image via IMDB)
A still from the new Netflix series (Image via IMDB)

Jeffrey Dahmer is known as one of America's most infamous criminals. Having been convicted of sexual offenses and first-degree murder, his story has become widely popular on the internet, while several documentaries and movies have been made about his crimes. Dahmer is also widely known by the name of Milwaukee Cannibal.

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Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is another TV show that explores the point-of-view of Dahmer's victims. From what the trailer suggests, the series also explores the factors of race in such crimes. Evan Peters plays Dahmer and heavily resembles Dahmer.

The show was released on Netflix on September 21, 2022.


Documentaries and movies that delve deep into the mind of Jeffrey Dahmer

1) My Friend Dahmer (2017)

My Friend Dahmer (Image via Amazon)
My Friend Dahmer (Image via Amazon)

My Friend Dahmer is a psychological drama interested in exploring Jeffrey Dahmer's mind. The film is based on a graphic novel by John Backderf, who was friends with Dahmer before the killing spree began.

My Friend Dahmer features Ross Lynch as Dahmer, Anne Heche as his mother, Dallas Roberts as his father, and Alex Wolff as Backderf. It received some great reviews for its troubling and eerily realistic portrayal of the serial killer's life. The film is also well-researched and is largely considered accurate. Lynch's performance as Dahmer was widely appreciated because he resembled Dahmer.

The film released on Hulu in 2017.


2) The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer (1993)

Still from the film. (Image via IMDB)
Still from the film. (Image via IMDB)

This is one of the earliest films to follow the crimes of Dahmer and the kind of life he lived during his time as a serial killer. The film explores the gruesome murders that involved storing the victims' body parts in the oddest ways possible.

Unlike most other films on the subject, this one doesn't dig very deep into the psychology of Dahmer, probably owing to the period it was released in. The movie is more interested in cannibalism and the practical details of the crimes. The film is all the more impactful because it was released just a couple of years after Dahmer's killing spree ended and a year before he was murdered in prison.


3) The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (2012)

The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (Image via Amazon)
The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (Image via Amazon)

The Jeffrey Dahmer Files looks at the happenings after Dahmer was caught for his crimes. It includes interactions with the people who spent time around Dahmer between 1978 and 1991. Accounts from neighbors, police officials, and friends are interwoven with footage of Dahmer leading a seemingly ordinary life.

The film was initially named Jeff and premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. However, it was later renamed and became famous for its realistic treatment of the subject. The movie's narrative is consistent and manages to impact the audience deeply. The documentary is streaming on Prime Video.


4) Dahmer (2002)

Dahmer (image via IMDB)
Dahmer (image via IMDB)

The film Dahmer is unlike most movies about serial killers. Although it follows Dahmer from a young age and explores the nature of a man who went on to commit the gruesome murders of seventeen men, it doesn't attempt to be a superficial lesson in psychology. The film treats its characters as layered and complex individuals rather than good or bad people.

The film is impactful because of how sensitively it treats the serial killer, who was often portrayed as a monster by media outlets. Jeremy Renner does a fine job of playing Dahmer as the director, David Jacobson, apparently made the film in 18 days. Dahmer received some great reviews and was widely appreciated by the audience.


5) Raising Jeffrey Dahmer (2006)

Still from the film. (Image via IMDB)
Still from the film. (Image via IMDB)

As the name suggests, Raising Jeffrey Dahmer explores Dahmer's childhood and his complex relationship with his family. The drama doesn't pretend to be a commentary on the psyche of a serial killer but is objective and factual in its approach. Rusty Sneary plays Dahmer, and Rich Ambler has directed this film.

The film is also interested in the trial after 1991 and its impact on Dahmer's family. Although the film wasn't as popular, it adopted a new approach by revolving around the perspective of the people around him.


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Dramas about serial killers are growing in popularity, and Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is one of the many serial killer stories available on Netflix. It is a dramatic approach to the criminal and features some spookily convincing performances.

The series was released on Netflix on September 21, 2022.

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Edited by Sayati Das