DAHMER: How Netflix Perfectly Portrays a Monster

On September 21, 2022, Netflix dropped Monster: The Jefferey Dahmer Story, a platform-exclusive ten-episode series following the life of the infamous serial killer.

The limited series has sparked a wave of conversation about past serial killers due to the show’s portrayal of Jefferey Dahmer. The series’s realistic depiction of Jefferey Dahmer’s despicable actions and beliefs makes DAHMER a talking point.

“The show demonstrated how serious the entire situation truly was,” said Saint Paul’s senior Trip Walter.

The show’s portrayal of Jeffrey Dahmer starts and ends with its lead actor, Evan Peters. Peters is a very accomplished actor, earning an Emmy award for his standout supporting role as Detective Colin Zabel in 2021’s Mare of Easttown. His take on Jeffrey Dahmer is front and center in the very first minutes of this spectacle.

In DAHMER‘s first episode, we watch a man preparing for a night out at the club, but we are never shown his face or hear him speak. But when his neighbor comes out to confront him about the rotten odor coming from his apartment, we finally get to meet Peters as Jefferey Dahmer.

“Peters gives an extremely excellent performance as Dahmer,” commented Saint Paul’s junior Shawn Cooney. “He makes the show truly uncomfortable for audiences to watch.”

It may be one of the show’s first scenes, but it’s one of DAHMER‘s most pivotal. It’s the moment that we meet our protagonist.

Peters does a great job of making Jeffrey Dahmer’s presence offputting using body language, Jeff’s Northwestern accent, mumbling, and a menacing gaze. Mix Peters’s performance with the series’s sinister soundtrack and eerie cinematography, and viewers have an opening scene that sets the tone for the rest of the series without showing any carnage.

While the blood and gore found in DAHMER might not be for the faint of heart, Jeffrey Dahmer’s actions make this show genuinely terrifying.

The fact that someone did what he did and could evade the law for so long is genuinely frustrating and petrifying at the same time. DAHMER portrays this very well when it shows Jeffrey’s difficult upbringing.

This series isn’t trying to get viewers to sympathize with Dahmer, as everyone watching knows what will happen by the end of the show’s events. However, the series’s portrayal of Jeffrey Dahmer’s troubling teenage years helps the audience understand what might have made him a psychotic serial killer.

Overall, it’s not the use of gore that makes the show horrifying, but rather the shocking, bone-chilling portrayal of what Jeffrey Dahmer did that makes DAHMER a worthwhile watch.


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