A twist on the slasher genre, following two death-obsessed teenage girls who use their online show about real-life tragedies to send their small mid-western town into a frenzy and cement their legacy as modern horror legends.
Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry "Doc" Shepherd re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.
Set over one summer, the film follows precocious 6-year-old Moonee as she courts mischief and adventure with her ragtag playmates and bonds with her rebellious but caring mother, all while living in the shadows of Disney World.
Somewhat slow but powerful all the same, and full of brilliant performances
I'm a fan of Derf's graphic novel about his teen experiences in the late '70s with Jeff Dahmer -- as a result I had mixed feelings about a film version. On the one hand, I was excited, but on the other was quite curious how the relatively brief story could be turned into a feature length film.
In terms of storytelling, the movie works. Yes, as a reader of the graphic novel may have suspected, the pace ends up being a bit slow, but it's still compelling stuff -- the viewer is there just as Dahmer arrives at a fork in the road of his life. Which way will he take? Will he end up just being an eccentric, or will he take that other, infinitely darker road?
We all know the answer, and of course the movie has a strong tragic element to it. It's all the more tragic -- for Dahmer's victims and their families, but also for Dahmer himself -- when we see that there was just enough to the guy ... just enough potential ... to make him possibly go the other way.
At times watching the movie can be tough going, but not for the reasons you might think. Watching a kid as painfully awkward and then as deeply depressed as Dahmer go through the torture of Middle American high school can be truly excruciating, all the more so because it seems to be happening in slow motion, like watching a car crash. But make no mistake -- it is absorbing human drama, quite unique in our age of comic book heroes and lurid reality TV.
Even if you don't particularly like slow-burn drama, see the movie anyway, for the performances. Lynch doesn't say a lot but he's truly engrossing to watch. Anne Heche is virtually unrecognizable as Dahmer's mother skating along the lip of sanity -- her manic performance is brilliant and unforgettable. And as usual Dallas Roberts impresses as Dahmer's father.
Highly recommended -- but don't go expecting a serial killer flick.
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