'My Friend Dahmer' gives chilling look at the making of a monster

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - "I like bones."

It's one of the more chilling lines in the movie "My Friend Dahmer", and it comes within the first six minutes of the movie.

A young Jeffrey Dahmer is referring to the bones of roadkill, dead animals and pets he finds and collects near his home in Bath, Ohio not far from Cleveland. It was his fascination. And it was the beginning.

Most of us know who Dahmer goes on to become when arrested years later in Milwaukee. A serial killer, cannibal and sexual deviant but like FilmRise, the movie's distributor, says "this is the story before the story."

"What is most chilling and haunting is that it's a reminder that he was just a kid who lived on a street, who took a school bus, had friends," says Marc Meyers the film's writer and director. "The story looks back at that experience in 1977 and 1978 when he is a junior and senior in high school."

The movie is based on the graphic novel "My Friend Dahmer" by John "Derf" Backderf, who went to high school with and was friends with Dahmer.

They attended Revere High School in Richfield, where Dahmer was a noted introvert and an odd kid.

"What's horrifying about this tale is where we know where he's heading. And that experience of watching the movie is you're watching the monster sort of take shape before your eyes," says Meyers.

Meyers points out, don't go into this film with the expectation of seeing murder and senseless killing. In fact there's very little violence in the film at all. This is a look into a young man's life who was lonely, dealing with mental illness, abused alcohol and had a strange home life.

"It's a moving, somewhat creepy experience but just so parents know this is not a horror movie and it's actually an important message that comes out of this story," says Meyers. A message of how Dahmer's early issues were missed by family, friends, teachers and his community.

As an artist Meyers' wanted authenticity and it doesn't get any more authentic than shooting the film in Dahmer's actual childhood home in Bath. In doing so Meyers said it had an impact on the actors and crew, to be in the same home where Dahmer committed his first murder.

"You had to feel it? You're there, that's the house, this is where it starts, it's where his first murder takes place. You had to have known that, and it ran through you as you were shooting there?" Cleveland 19 Reporter Dan DeRoos asked Meyers.

"Yeah I mean, there's something very profound about that home because of its history and it's a little creepy and eerie at times," Meyers described.

When the movie ends it's only the beginning and you're left knowing what Dahmer will go on to do, but at least you got a look at where he started.

"What I did was provide a piece of entertainment that gives you a window into the making of a monster," says Meyers.

Local Release dates and locations:

Cleveland- Nov. 10, Capital Theater

Akron- Nov. 17, Nightlight Cinema

Solon- Nov. 17, AMC Classic Solon

Follow Dan DeRoos on Facebook and Twitter. Have a question you want him to answer? Email him at dderoos@woio.com.

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