Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
Need to Know
Based on the life of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, the biographical crime drama series portrays the making of the ‘monster’. It showcases both sides to the story – the childhood trauma that may have caused Dahmer to transform into the nightmare we know, while at the same time asking the important question – does his trauma justify his actions – killing at least 17 young men, including minors?
Director: Ryan Murphy
Cast: Evan Peters, Richard Jenkins, Molly Ringwald, Niecy Nash, Michael Learned
Why Is It Worth Watching?
The 10-part Netflix series follows the life of Jeffrey Dahmer, from his childhood right up to his murder in prison. An inconsistent childhood, with parents fighting and finally their divorce, seems to have deeply influenced the protagonist, whose father, observing his keenness for science, teaches him to dissect roadkill, only for the former to realise his deep obsession with organs.
Dahmer seems to be your American boy next-door, working odd jobs and living in a humble apartment in a primarily African-American neighbourhood – there’s a race angle to the story. However, he brings home victims – predominantly black – on the pretext of being a photographer looking for models. He then kills them violently, after which he dismembers their bodies and even resorts to cannibalism – gory. The scenes are pretty graphic, inducing a gag reflex, especially the one where Dahmer is shown tucking into what looks like a cooked steak but…
Despite repeated complaints by his neighbour, the police exhibit a careless attitude until one of Dahmer’s victims manages to run away. Victims’ corpses decomposing in acid, a freezer stocked with vital organs and skulls and bones stashed away are some of the items the police later discover.
Brilliant cinematography, compelling acting and clever direction come together to create this must-watch true-crime series.
Luckiest Girl Alive
Need to Know
Need to Know: A mystery thriller, the film is based on the screenplay by Jessica Knoll who is also the author of the novel with the same title. Ani, the protagonist, seems to have it all. A successful career as senior editor of a reputed New York women’s magazine, the perfect relationship… However, she seems to be harbouring a dark past.
Director: Mike Barker
Cast: Mila Kunis, Finn Wittrock, Scoot McNairy, Thomas Barbusca, Jennifer Beals, Connie Britton
Why Is It Worth Watching?
Horrors from Ani’s past resurface when she is approached by a documentary director, working on a film about a school shooting. The plot goes on to reveal that the shooting took place at Ani’s school. She clearly hasn’t gotten over it yet but there’s more than what meets the eye.
In a series of flashbacks, we see Ani joining a prestigious school. While there, she befriends some popular kids, particularly three boys. It’s interesting to watch how starkly different the personalities of teenaged Ani and present-day Ani are. Characteristic traits that she seems to have locked up inside her over the years. Mila Kunis plays this complex character quite convincingly.
The plot goes on to reveal that young Ani was accused as an accomplice in the shooting, which killed two of the boys and handicapped the third – Dean Barton – who is also part of the documentary. Director Mike Barker has created a tension between characters that stems from human emotion – its fragility and volatility. The plot twist comes when we learn who the shooters are.
Dealing with these skeletons from her past forces Ani to take a hard look at who she really is and what she really wants. Will she stay true to herself? Will she finally redeem herself? It’s refreshing to see a female lead. Further, intense drama woven around important social issues will keep you going on this one.