Review: Inside look at ‘Monster: the Jeffrey Dahmer Series’


Juliana Cruz

“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” by Ryan Murphy shares the horror story of famous serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer. With its maturity rating at TV-MA, viewers are warned about the graphic content depicted in it. “I heard a lot about Dahmer,” senior Gianna Galante said. “Seeing it on screen made me open my eyes a little more to the real world.”

Netflix dropped a drama series, “Monster: the Jeffrey Dahmer Series,” which met mixed reviews from the audience. The Ryan Murphy series hit 196.2 million views in the first week of its release. Evan Peters, the actor who played the serial killer had his viewers shocked — they thought he “killed it.” The cast also included Niecy Nash, Molly Ringwald, Richard Jenkins, Penelope Ann Miller, Michael Learned and Karen Malina White. The story documents Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood all the way to his death, as well as the subplot of his victims and their families. Producers also faced backlash from the victims’ families, as they felt they were being forced to re-live what they thought was forgotten.

Episodes 1 & 2

Murphy sets the scene with a neighbor being annoyed and somewhat worried about the smell and noises happening next door. Dahmer goes to his local gay club and gives some young men tempting offers for money. Back at his apartment, the unsettling living room and kitchen makes his last victim, Tracy, want to leave, but Dahmer tries to convince him to stay by giving him a drink.

Drugged by the spiked drink, Tracy manages to knock Jeffrey unconscious and run for help in which he runs into two Milwaukee policemen. Arrested and sent to prison – Dahmer admits everything.

Episode two goes into the past of Dahmer’s childhood and his household, to analyze the way Dahmer might have been influenced into what he did. It then fasts forwards to a 14-year-old boy, Konerak Sinthasomphone, convinced that there would be a “party hardy” at Dahmer’s place. Knowing Dahmer assaulted the little boy’s brother, he still went because he thought he would get the money that he’s heard about. However, it turns into an experiment for Dahmer’s lobotomy attempt.

I think Evan Peters played his part so well, down to the body language and his voice. Producers set the episodes in a way where you just need to see more. As tempting as it gets, the more gory it gets as well. Starting the first episode with Dahmer going to prison, makes the audience want to watch the other nine episodes because it presents all the events that led up to his arrest.

In Dahmer’s apartment, they set the scene so well because it looks exactly like his real one. I’m usually never unsettled by like thrillers or horrors, but since this happened in real life, it gets underneath my skin especially due to the age of the child. Sinthasomphone his youngest victim, and it ached terribly because he suffered the worst. Dahmer used the boy as a lobotomy experiment, and when neighbors got cops involved — officials were no help. It broke my heart because he was the brother of another Dahmer victim.

Episodes 3 & 4

Murphy introduces Dahmer’s mom as a pregnant drug addict. With that, his father and mother’s marriage seemed to be very rocky and abusive. They present her as mentally unstable with half the things she says – and his father only triggers it. The arguments also involve Dahmer and his dad’s experiments with dead animals.

Now divorced, his mother left Dahmer to survive on his own while she takes off his baby brother, David. Feeling neglected by his own father who left him for his new wife, Dahmer comes across his counselor, who attempts to discuss his career and his likes in school. She realizes his love for fitness and human anatomy. Dahmer goes on to attempt many things, including sneaking into the yearbook club photos to failing college with a GPA of less than 1.0. Therefore, his father forces him into the army – which he later gets kicked out of. Taught to be a medical specialist whilst in the army; drugging people became a lesson on duty.

Now living with his grandma, Dahmer’s weird act is noticed by his family member. Following an invitation to join the Christian church, he throws a tantrum in protest. His sobriety became the excuse to why he doesn’t need religion in his life. He gets a job at a butchery, but quickly gets fired after exposing himself at the state fair. Job hopping led him to a blood plasma center — where he finds himself drinking a male patient’s blood bag. Leaving that occupation too, Jeff commits a majority of his crimes in the gay community, which goes unnoticed. He invites his victims to a nearby bathhouse until he is later banned because of the roofied victims he leaves behind.

Peters really did well with the unsettling act, and I understand how this can give him a setback from reality. I felt like Dahmer’s aggressive personality really came from the neglect he received from his mom and dad.

Yet, when his dad is back in the picture he had grown into the character of what he had become famous for. His dad always tried manipulating him, making Dahmer the fault in every problem.

Murphy continues the unsettling acts of Dahmer with another six episodes. Netflix viewers are warned about the disturbing scenes and pictures. According to The Project, others claim they couldn’t make it past the first episode. Some say that the whole series made them more attentive to the real world. Overall, I thought it was an interesting and enlightening series.