Reviewing the Monster: Dahmer


On September 21, Netflix released a mini-series called ‘Dahmer- Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, and in spite its release a month ago, it has already become the second most watched Netflix series. Social media has played a big role in promoting this mini-series causing it to reach a variety of audiences.  

On TikTok, people have been making memes/edits, romanticizing, and praising the actor. The main reason why this is unsettling is because the actor is portraying Jeffery Dahmer, a serial killer, in the mini-series.  

Dahmer’s story is quite unsettling considering the fact he lured, murdered and eaten the dismembered body parts of his victims. The victims mainly consisting of gay African American individuals, 17 men and boys in total were killed. 

A 28-year-old woman, Britnee Chamberlain, got a sleeve tattoo of Dahmer’s mugshot and posted a TikTok about it. The video received some backlash as well as rise controversy amongst the public.  

Chamberlain said in an interview from the Daily Star that she is “simply intrigued” by Dahmer.  

From a psychological standpoint, I understand why she’d be intrigued by his behavior, not necessarily meaning his decisions and/or actions were in the right, but more so why he did what he did. All that’s known is Dahmer was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and psychotic disorder.  

Other people strained away from that approach and instead of praising Dahmer, they praised the acting and overall take away instead. 

A reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes said, “The actors did a phenomenal job portraying real life characters in fictional scenarios.” 

“The acting was excellent, and you got to know the victims,” another reviewer said. “Dahmer was so cold and cunning. This showed you how much he did to these men and boys.” 

On the other hand, some people didn’t enjoy the show because it didn’t pique their interest, while others have been holding Netflix accountable for releasing the series without consent from the victim’s families. 

A reviewer on Rotten Tomatoes said, “this story should have been left alone” and that, “Netflix should be ashamed.” They also said that it was “too much” and “demented.” 

Another reviewer said, “With all the adaptations and documentaries out there based on it, enough has now been said. This was a pretty solid dramatizations of it, but it should end all dramatizations. Let the families of victims live in peace and/or give them proper compensation.” 

In addition to audience backlash, one of the victim’s families called out the producer of the Netflix series, Ryan Murphy, for “making money off of this tragedy.” 

In context, the family member’s brother, Errol Lindsey, was a victim of Dahmer. She expressed her frustration about the series, that she isn’t “money hungry,” while Netflix is only doing this to make a profit. She also said, regarding the actor that portrayed her in the series, “If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought it was me. Her hair was like mine; she had on the same clothes. That’s why it felt like reliving it all over again. It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then.” 

Moreover, another Isbell family member said, “They don’t notify families when they do this. It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay) anyone. My family found out when everyone else did. So, when they say they’re doing this ‘with respect to the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of the families,’ no one contacts them. My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages, and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.” 

Netflix should have gotten consent from the families first before releasing. When the idea arose, the families should’ve been asked if they wanted to take part in or contribute to the mini-series.  

These families are still processing and healing from such a traumatic time of their lives. They’re still grieving and it’s disrespectful to release documentaries, photos, or anything of that sort without their permission. 

I usually don’t watch documentaries or docuseries on serial killers that often, but I agree this one was riveting and extremely disturbing. Overall, it did a great job digging a little deeper into the story and illustrating the lives of the victims and Dahmer himself.