‘Dahmer’ on Netflix: Backlash and true story, explained

Netflix Latest true crime movies – Dahmer – The Beast: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story – is a hit, despite the killer’s last name being used twice in the title. Some people wish the Milwaukee killer wasn’t exposed so often. As of Tuesday, Dahmer (the show) is #1 on Netflix, but it has generated a lot of controversy. Let’s break it down.


Jeffrey Dahmer was real, of course, but the things he did were so horrific that it seemed impossible. Born in Milwaukee in 1960, he had a turbulent childhood, with an early interest in dead animals and anatomy. Then, over a 13-year period starting in 1978, he killed and dismembered 17 men and boys, committed necrophilia and cannibalism, and preserved body parts and bones. He was finally arrested in 1991 and sentenced to 17 years in prison. Another inmate beat Dahmer to death in prison in 1994.

The 10-episode series jumps between Dahmer’s unhappy childhood, his murder and eventual arrest. In addition to the horror of Dahmer’s crimes, the series shows how Milwaukee police did not listen to neighbors who warned them that something was going on at the killer’s apartment. Two officers actually brought one of Dahmer’s victims back to him when the boy, badly wounded and drugged, tried to escape from the house of terror.

The show is disturbing, often bloody, and a bleak hour. About a week after it appeared on Netflix, it got mixed or average reviews from critics on MetacriticAnd generally positive reviews from users.

Daniel Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter In his review, he wrote, “Make a different edit, there is an intelligent interrogation of Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes and the real people affected and the consequences here. They are often lost or obscured.”

Feinberg and other critics call Episode VI, titled Silent, as an exceptional episode within the series. Focuses on one of the men who killed Dahmer, Tony Hughes. “Tony was deaf, and by placing a black, deaf, and lesbian character at the center of the narrative, the series gives a voice to someone whose voice has often been left out of the stunning serial killer visuals,” Feinberg wrote.

But Caroline Framke of Variety writes This is, unfortunately, “mute is the exception rather than the rule”, and not all episodes perform well.

Who plays the role of a serial killer?

I played Dahmer before Evan Peters, who has held multiple roles in different seasons of American Horror Story and who plays Quicksilver in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Dahmer brings Peters together with director Ryan Murphy, who co-created American Horror Story and Dahmer.

Show features of two famous actors

Michael Laird, best known for her role as country mom Olivia Walton on The Waltons, plays Dahmer’s grandmother Katherine. Learned is a ’70s icon, but there’s also an ’80s icon starring on this show. Molly Ringwald, from the popular John Hughes movie, plays Dahmer’s stepmother, Shari. You will hardly recognize it.

The series also stars Richard Jenkins as Dahmer’s father, Lionel. Niecy Nash plays Glenda Cleveland, a neighbor of Dahmer’s apartment who is trying everything in her power to make the Milwaukee police pay attention to the horrifying smells and sounds coming from behind his door.

Actors Richard Jenkins, Molly Ringwald, and Penelope Ann Miller talk in a hallway in a scene from the movie Dahmer - Monster

Richard Jenkins plays Jeffrey Dahmer’s father, Molly Ringwald (center) plays his stepmother Shari, and Penelope Ann Miller plays his mother, Joyce.



Dahmer is the latest in a long line of real-life stories that focus on a killer or criminal. The magic of serial killers goes back beyond Silence of the Lambs in fiction and non-fiction, with real killers portrayed in films like 2019’s Extremely Wicked and Shockingly Evil and Vile, which starred Zac Efron as the killer Ted Bundy. There is a whole industry of nonfiction books and podcasts, including books with great titles My favorite killer. Netflix is ​​already in the business with true crime series, including The Staircase, Making a Murderer, and Tiger King, as well as the hit drama Mindhunter.

But any presentation of true crimes calls into question whether it sheds light on the criminal at the expense of the victims. Rita Espel, sister of Errol Lindsay, one of the men Dahmer murdered, Talk to Insider about the show. She gave an emotional statement about victim impact in Dahmer’s 1992 ruling, a scene recreated in the series.

“I haven’t been contacted about the show,” Ispel told Insider. “I feel like Netflix should have asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn’t ask me anything. They just did.”

Others posted on social media calling for the victims to be remembered instead of the man whose name appeared twice in the show’s title.

Furthermore, Netflix originally placed Dahmer in its LGBTQ category, which usually features delightful shows like celebrity romance. Heartstopper. Dahmer was gay, but so is Netflix Since removing that tag Following the cry of the fans. A viewer ‘This is not the representation we’re looking for’ Books on TikTok.

How real is the series?

Anne E. Schwartz, the reporter who broke the Dahmer story in the Milwaukee Journal in 1991, The UK-based newspaper, The Independent That the Netflix series wasn’t accurate in some ways.

Schwartz, who later worked for the Milwaukee Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, said “the portrayal of city police officers as racist and homophobic was incorrect,” the newspaper reported.

Also, the series features Niecy Nash as Dahmer’s neighbor, Glenda Cleveland. She appeared as living right next to the killer and staring at him down the hall, as well as reporting to the police the smell and sounds of the murders. Schwartz noted that Cleveland, who died in 2011, He actually lived in a separate building from Dahmer. But it was Cleveland who tried to talk to the police about returning a 14-year-old victim, Konerak Sinthasomphone, to Dahmer, who went on to kill the boy.

how to watch

All 10 episodes are now available to stream on Netflix.

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