Film Review "The Jeffrey Dahmer Files"

jeffreydahmerfilesDirected by: Chris James Thompson
Starring: Andrew Swant, Jeffrey Jentzen, Pat Kennedy, Pamela Bass
Distributed by: IFC Films
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running time: 77 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

I am not sure what it is about serial killers but the topic always sparks America’s interest. “The Jeffrey Dahmer Files” is a documentary/re-enactment film about Jeffrey Dahmer during the summer of his arrest. Andrew Swant plays the serial killer in those segments and that footage is mixed in with real interviews with Jeffrey Jentzen, the medical examiner from the case; Pat Kennedy, the lead detective; and even Dahmer’s actual next door neighbor, Pamela Bass. I loved the way that the real and new footage that was created and is blended almost seamlessly. Even though this film is just a documentary, it still disturbing and creepy.

Official Synopsis: In the summer of 1991 Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested in Milwaukee and sentenced to 957 years in prison for killing 17 people and dismembering their bodies. ‘Jeff’ explores the city of Milwaukee by meeting those surrounding Dahmer during and after his hidden spree. Recollections from Milwaukee Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen, Police Detective Patrick Kennedy, and neighbor Pamela Bass are interwoven with archival footage and everyday scenes from Dahmer’s life, working collectively to disassemble the facade of an ordinary man leading an ordinary existence.

When you see the re-enactment footage with Andrew Swant playing Dahmer and then the actual court footage of Dahmer it is very disturbing and at first almost hard to tell the difference. As a film, I think this word be better suited as a TV special then a feature film. But nonetheless, it was interesting and definitely grasped my attention for the near 80 minutes. In fact, I actually learned a few things about this notorious serial killer. If you are interested in serial killers, then I would recommend checking this out.


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