Tuesday, June 20, 9:15 p.m., Castro Theatre: Bay Area première
|Ross Lynch (center) is My Friend Dahmer|
Dahmer is played by recent Disney Channel alumnus Ross Lynch, who demonstrates a remarkable range as an actor, moving from the cotton candy fluff of Austin and Ally and Teen Beach Movie to material much darker and more complex. Oddly, there are a couple of other former teen idols in the cast: Derf is played by Alex Wolff, formerly of the Naked Brothers Band, and the local doctor is played by Vincent Kartheiser, who graced teen magazines of the 1990s before moving on to stuff like Mad Men. You’d be hard pressed, though, to imagine this incarnation on the cover of Tiger Beat.
Lynch inhabits the future serial killer with subtle physical touches like the deadpan facial expression and hunched shoulders, giving a human realness to a boy on the brink of manhood, but also on the brink of losing his humanity entirely. Even knowing that Dahmer goes on to multiple vicious sociopathic murders, it’s difficult not to feel some sympathy for the socially awkward teen on screen. The more disturbing side of Dahmer peeks out only briefly in a few scenes. I can’t say that I hope Ross Lynch plays more serial killers in the future, but he has clearly established his cred as a serious actor for whatever not-Disney throws at him next. Highly recommended.
• IMDb page • trailer • Twitter: @MFDTheMovie •