Jeffrey Dahmer Files, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

Documentary concerning the evil of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, a gay man who lured other men and boys into hotel rooms or his apartment, then tortured, killed and ate them. Directed by Chris James Thompson.

FILM SYNOPSIS: It is an unnerving experimental documentary film that uses archival footage, interviews, and fictionalized scenarios to tell the story of the people around Jeffrey Dahmer during the summer of his arrest in 1991.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Whenever a studio rep sends me a DVD of an upcoming movie, I feel an obligation to view it. I must confess, however, because the subject matter of cannibalism is so sickening to me, I found myself fast-forwarding several times. Due to that fact, I cannot justly call this a “review.” So, my opinions should not be read as a promotion of or put-down of the film.

The work I did see was professionally done, but far from original. For years we’ve seen bios that incorporated reenactments. Here we see an actor playing Dahmer, going about his nefarious business of buying supplies. He fills his apartment with devices one might find in Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. Or, the morgue.

I was getting sick to my stomach as details of his crimes were discussed. Thought there were no reenactments of torture, killing or dissection, we did see photos of actual human remains. So, here’s the reason I’m running these comments by you. This film is another testament to the evil we share this planet with. Though disturbing, this documentary is another reminder that we need to guard against the desensitizing ability of evil.

I always wondered how the citizens of Germany in the 1930s could allow Hitler to come into power. What were they thinking when he put people in concentration camps, then burnt them up? I don’t think it was just ignorance on their part – or that they were collectively wicked. I think there was a desensitizing factor that overcame an entire nation. Fear and self-preservation overcame the fight for justice. Indeed, many saw the taking away of rights of others as justice. Skip ahead 60 some years and we hear of a man entering a school and shooting 20 little children to death. Certainly, these are just two examples of unexplainable depravity. This wrong-is-right behavior is so far out of our comprehension that the act can only be labeled as evil.

My next statement is going to sound political (it’s not meant to be), because it has become an issue that has divided our nation – abortion. Somehow abortion has become the law of the land. And now there are those who justify late term abortion. Now, “late term” actually means that the “tissue” now has hands, feet, eyes, a brain, and a heartbeat. If it were outside the womb, it would be called a baby. But many have been conditioned to believe their own rights and convenience are more important than a life form that, if left alone, would soon be walking around on this earth. To end this being’s existence, a hole is bored into its head and brain matter is sucked out. The heart then no longer beats and the tissue or being or whatever proponents of this procedure call it is then removed from the woman’s body and disposed of. Now, some would call this barbarism, while others just think it is a demonstration of female empowerment, a woman’s choice. However, upon reading the description, it baffles me how it can’t be seen as the blinding ability of evil.

I didn’t mean to be political, nor insensitive. But I choose this example because it is the most baffling. I find this procedure, which is accepted by many in political and medical leadership, to be a pure example of apathy. Apathy: lack of interest, feeling, emotion or sensation; indifference. - And that isn’t evil!

Demonic forces roam the Earth, and at times they can deceive any of us. Fortunately, righteousness can be found and clung to, for if we seek God, he will be with us. And though there are many who think religion is merely a crutch used to deal with life – or evil, those who have turned to Christ know better.

I’ll end this review/sermon with the suggestion that you study God’s Word rather than view films that exploit evil (that’s not a comment on this film, but there are many films that exploit evil). Studying the scriptures helps us comprehend spiritual matters, for they give examples of both good and evil. A true relationship with Jesus not only helps us cope with matters outside our understanding, it also helps us distinguish between true good and true evil.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
IFC Films

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around 10 obscenities used by a former policeman in his interview.

Profanity: I caught none.

Violence: Most of the horror is described rather than shown. No blood, but we do see pictures of human bones and skulls.

Sex: None, though it is implied that the gay Dahmer lured men to their death, by letting them think they were going to a room for sexual purposes.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 76 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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