Sarina Bellisimo reviews My Friend Dahmer and ShowDogs
What’s not to love about a buddy cop film, where the buddies are a human and a dog who have to go undercover to expose a dog smuggling ring and keep cute dogs from harm?
Well the answer to that depends on who you talk to.
My seven year old loved the fact that she was watching talking dogs getting up to all sorts of mischief. She loved that there were slapstick scenes, that there were many chases, and also loved that, ultimately, the dogs get to save the day.
The adult watching it can’t help but think, why are Will Arnett and Orange is the New Black’s Natasha Lyon’s in this? Why have Stanley Tucci, Jordin Sparks and Ludacris lent their voices to it? While also thanking the fact that they are in it as they make it bearable.
The adult is also thanking the fact that one very misjudged story thread went over my seven year old’s head. The thread about the dogs having to go to a happy place while being inappropriately touched has, rightly so, caused outrage, rather than the intended laughs the film makers were going for. I don’t know how this scene made it to the screen! It has since been cut from the US version, but a word of warning, it is still in the version in Irish cinemas.
“Show Dogs” won’t go down as a classic kids film but if my seven year old, and the kids in the screening, are anything to go by, this is an entertaining and amusing 90 minutes at the cinema.
My Friend Dahmer
My Friend Dahmer tells the story of the infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer before he started his killing spree.
This film does not explore the crimes he committed. It instead looks at his final two years of high school, when he is on the cusp of committing his heinous crimes (he went on to kill seventeen young men).
If you are a fan of true crime stories and investigations, this film will be intriguing, not because it goes behind the scenes of the crimes, but because it tries to delve behind the reason why Dahmer turned out the way he did.
You see that he was always an outcast. He did not have much in common with his fellow students or family; had a morbid curiosity about death; and was fascinated about finding out what the inside of a body looked like.
The acting is outstanding. Ross Lynch’s portrayal of Dahmer is a chilling departure from the Disney kids’ role that made him famous in Austin and Ally. Anne Heche, who was massive in the 90s, also gives a great performance as Dahmer’s troubled mother.
If you know nothing about Dahmer, the serial killer, this film will not give you more information about that. It does however leave you questioning whether or not, it is in fact, society that made Dahmer the way he became or was he born that way? If his family circumstances were different, if students went out of their way to befriend him and not shame him could he have turned out differently?
“My Friend Dahmer” is dark, chilling, and you are constantly on the edge of your seat wondering when, how, and why this high school student will go from outcast to serial killer. However it is not necessarily the type of film you would seek out at a cinema. You would be more inclined to expect Netflix to make this film as a supplementary to a true crimes documentary about his horrific crimes.