The A.V. Club caught an advance screening of director Marc Meyers’ new movie My Friend Dahmer at the Fantasia International Film Festival last weekend (full coverage coming next week), and it’s really something special. Starring Disney channel star Ross Lynch as the future cannibal killer, the film is framed as a high-school dramedy about friendship and fitting in, luring viewers into sympathizing with Jeffrey and his struggles with his sexuality, his parents’ divorce, and his outcast status at school—until you remember, “oh yeah, that guy went on to murder 17 people.” By focusing entirely on the factors that influenced Dahmer’s madness and not its horrific consequences, My Friend Dahmer takes an alternative approach to true crime that raises questions of how future serial killings can be prevented. Oh, and it was shot in Jeffrey Dahmer’s real childhood home in Ohio, which is creepy and kind of cool.
My Friend Dahmer is based on Derf Backderf’s graphic-novel memoir of the same name and will open in the U.S. this fall.