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Raising Jeffrey Dahmer
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Reviews & Ratings for
Raising Jeffrey Dahmer More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Has it's moments, but disappointing overall

Author: whitefangz1 from United States
26 June 2008

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.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Save yourselves! It's too late for us!

Author: elaine-eshbaugh from United States
26 July 2008

We have 3 cats and 2 dogs. I think we could have organized them to do a better re-enactment of Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood than this film. The movie is 100 minutes long; we made it 60 minutes--so, to be fair, I haven't even seen the whole movie. I just couldn't bear it. This looks like a film put together by a group of high school students in a movie-making class. And not even high-achieving students. The acting was awful, although I felt a great deal of pity for the actors in this film. They really never had a chance. Lots of corny flashbacks. Not even sure of the film's accuracy based on other things I've heard and read on Dahmer. I have to say...might be the worst movie I've ever seen. I can't believe this was even in the video store. Please, spare yourself! Avoid this one at all costs!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Useful only as a coaster

Author: Duncan Jackson
4 September 2008

Snooty, pompous, and pointless. This movie makes a very weak attempt to use art-house-style drama to represent the story of Dahmer. I actually got fooled into initially thinking that it was a documentary. The cover is somewhat misleading in this regard, and, if you make the same mistake I did, then you will be super-disappointed. The acting is poor, the film-work is poor, even the soundtrack is corny and revolting. There is nothing in this movie that is good. The only good thing that happened was when my flatmate walked in front of the TV and obscured my vision. I gave Raising Jeffrey Dahmer 1 star because I was forced to by the system. My real rating is definitely in the negatives. To the movie maker: Why oh why did you do this? To the consumer: Do NOT buy this. Spend your money on ANYTHING else.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Tempting...but stay away.

Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
29 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The subject matter might spark interest in some; but this film delivers nothing you don't already know. The acting is terrible and plot just plows along into boredom. The focus is the family of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's parent's and their struggle to comprehend their son's arrest and what turned him into the monster he became. As heartbreaking as the search was to find any reason behind Jeffrey's actions, efforts proved futile. Trying to humanize a cannibal is not an easy project. It was not accomplished here for sure. The cast includes: Scott Cordes, Cathy Barnett, Granvile O'Neal, veteran actor Bo Svenson and Rusty Sneary as Jeffrey Dahmer.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Humorously Disappointing

Author: MarlinFF from United States
1 August 2008

I rented this movie with my girlfriend as a late night movie. We haven't seen a scary movie in a while, and I've always been fascinated with serial killers overall.

This movie was laughable.. The acting was a joke. The father made me laugh at him at parts I should have been feeling the shock and fear he was feeling. It did keep me interested with the flashbacks, but the movie would have been so much better if it actually showed what it was titled, Jeffrey Dahmer being raised. It showed it through a series of flashbacks, which were the only interesting parts in the movie.

I knew it was going to be a disappointment, but I saw it in the advertisement the guy at the movie store gave to me. Next time I go with my gut, which this movie should have showed more of.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not very good. Or any good, really

Author: mynameisdumbnuts from United States
1 September 2008

Who'd have thought a movie about a serial killer would be boring? But this movie is. It's disjointed and dull, and less about raising Jeffrey Dahmer than his family coming to grips with his arrest. That would be OK, but even that emotional time isn't portrayed very well.

The acting isn't very good, but the script is even worse. It's difficult to sympathize with any of the characters, who are all pretty much one-dimensional: the self-questioning father, the steely stepmother and the distraught grandma. It seems impossible that any of them can feel those qualities simultaneously. There are tons of flashbacks, but they seem to come in no particular order, interspersed with comments such as, "That's it! That's when we knew!" I'm not sure if there are better movies about Jeffrey Dahmer out there, but I hope so.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:


Author: kevdenpel from United States
7 October 2008

First of all, I am shocked that this film was even in RedBox. My wife and I did some grocery shopping and then decided on our way out to rent a movie, and RedBox was right there, so it was convenient. We went through the titles it currently had in stock, and we eventually settled on what we would later learn was just a horrible piece of crap entitled "Raising Jeffrey Dahmer". I'm just glad we only paid a dollar for it, considering we only saw about half of the movie. We couldn't bear to see the rest. Just like all of the above reviews read, the acting is horrible, the sets are horrible and very obviously low-budget, the script is terrible and the movie itself just sort of drags along. Each scene is just way too long. You just sit there getting more and more bored. It is, however, laughable, that is, how horrible this movie is. I remember laughing quite a bit, feeling embarrassed for the actors on screen. Give me $3,000 and 2 weeks and I will make a better version of this movie and still have money left to buy a nice Gibson or something.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Low Budget Sympathetic!

Author: ( from United States
4 July 2012

I read Lionel Dahmer's book. The film doesn't show any of the gore, blood, bones, and body parts but only allude to it. The film is about how a father like Dr. Lionel Dahmer deals with his son's brutal, horrific crimes. This film is low budget to begin with. There are some scenes like the flashbacks that seem repetitive. It's not a great film but low budget films don't have the financing to be better. This film actually centers on Lionel and his second wife, Shari Dahmer, and Jeffrey's paternal grandmother, Catherine Dahmer, whom he had a close relationship. I thought when I read the book that the Dahmers had left Catherine's house because of the press hounding on them. Jeffrey Dahmer was raised in a broken home with an unstable mother whom we never see so we don't' know her side. We do see Lionel as a broken man coming to terms with the realization of his son's crimes, There were signs but Jeffrey was skilled enough to be aware of his father's obvious questions. He wasn't close to his parents but to his grandmother. The male mannequin in the closet is a frightening clue to something wrong. There is a scene where Lionel tries to keep Jeffrey locked up but he can't do much. If you read Lionel Dahmer's book, he paints a portrait of a frustrating parent who knows something is terribly wrong but can't help his own son. Jeffrey had an alcoholism problem, pedophile, and terribly secretive which led to his compulsion to bury his victims. Lionel is ridden with guilt just as his second wife. Jeffrey's mother was not in this film. While it's an okay low budget film, the actors do the best they can with the material. The flashbacks help slowly unravel Jeffrey's behavior. Unfortunately, they don't mention the victims by names. They should have listed them in remembrance and not to forget them as well.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Psycho Killer

Author: valis1949 from United States
15 June 2009

RAISING JEFFREY DAHMER is a poorly executed film, well below the level of Student Film, yet it does manage to touch on some provocative issues. RAISING JEFFREY DAHMER is not really concerned with the heinous murders and kidnappings that Dahmer committed, but seeks to examine his relationship with his family. The film forces the viewer to consider a few extremely difficult positions. Can a parent continue to love a child who is a convicted sexual predator, murderer, and cannibal? Also, Dahmer's behavior could be viewed as someone who was deeply repulsed, yet morbidly attracted to men. Dahmer did admit that the reason he killed and dismembered was to reassemble the parts, and then, create sexual slaves for his personal ratification. I wonder if this psychotic sexual identity might have been caused by something in his upbringing, and had his family encouraged and accepted his latent homosexual nature, could the killings have been avoided? Did his parents ever consider this? These questions are not really answered in the film, however they are certainly areas worthy of inquiry.

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This movie isn't worth anyone's time

Author: quinlinwolf from United States
24 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was clearly low budget, the acting was extremely terrible and i'm not sure how much of this movie is true. In the 2006 movie "Raising Jeffrey Dahmer" it goes based off the perspective. The movie takes place during the conviction of Jeffrey, but flash backs occur throughout the entire movie. The movie revolves around the father's struggle of blaming himself for his son's actions. Flashbacks indicate early warning signs that the father ignores. The plot would most likely be the actions and events that happen to put the dad into this state of mind, but also he goes about resolving these issues and accepting his son for who he is and loving him unconditionally.

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