26 June 2008 | whitefangz1
Has it's moments, but disappointing overall
One would assume that a movie named "Raising Jeffrey Dahmer" would deal largely with his childhood. Instead, the movie begins with his arrest and deals largely with the stress of his parents face trying to deal with the media. There are flashbacks to childhood events, but they are short, stylized, and presented out of chronological order. They are more distracting and confusing than they are enlightening. The step-mother is played in a very distant, emotionless manner that makes it impossible to determine what she is going through and difficult to sympathize with her. The father spends most of the film being shown reacting to discoveries and incidents so we do not have an opportunity to get close to him either. His emotional range was too one-dimensional to get a clear picture of who he really is as a person. The movie is somewhat interesting, but it didn't live up to it's potential. I expected to see Jeffrey raised through childhood complete with all the clues and hints about how he might turn out. I expected to see a film that puts us in the place of the parents and allows us to feel the struggle between a parents unconditional love for a child and reconciling the horrible crimes committed by the child. I would have enjoyed this as a straight documentary or as a revealing, emotional docudrama. Instead, the director chose to focus on being artsy. I didn't hate this film, but I was left very disappointed.