Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d know everyone is talking about the wild Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
More particularly, social media has been buzzing with discussion over American Horror Story actor Evan Peter’s eerily accurate portrayal of the disturbed killer, who was convicted for his crimes in 1992 after a 13-year killing spree that included at least 17 murders.
Speaking in a behind-the-scenes interview with Netflix, Evans revealed that he had to go to some “dark places” in order to prepare himself for the role, noting that he had studied a 1994 interview with American reporter Stone Phillips to help him get into character.
“Honestly, I was very scared about all the things that he did,” Evans said in the featurette.
“Diving into that and trying to commit to that was absolutely going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life.
“I wanted it to be very authentic, but in order to do that, I was gonna have to go to really dark places and stay there for an extended period of time.”
“I watched that and then proceeded to read biographies,” said Peters. “I [also] found some audio of what sounds like a psychologist interviewing him or even a detective who’s sort of relaying what he went through, and the way that he’s speaking is very candid and very normal.”
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He added: It was so jaw-dropping that it all really happened that it felt important to be respectful to the victims, to the victims’ families, to try to tell the story as authentically as we could.”
Meanwhile, amid the series’ growing popularity and discussion across social media, many have argued about the decision to produce true crime shows and movies while victims’ families are still very much dealing with the trauma of losing a loved one.
Shortly after its release, a Twitter user posted a side-by-side comparison of a scene from the series and an actual clip from the courtroom. In said clip, Rita Isbell (played by DaShawn Barnes in the show), sister to Errol Lindsey – a black man who was brutally murdered by Dahmer – confronts Dahmer in court.
The uncannily similar comparison went viral, and soon caught the eye of Errol’s cousin, who expressed disgust over his cousin’s death being turned into entertainment for true crime aficionados.
I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need? https://t.co/CRQjXWAvjx
— eric. (@ericthulhu) September 22, 2022
“I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?” the user, identified as Eric, tweeted.
He added, “Like recreating my cousin having an emotional breakdown in court in the face of the man who tortured and murdered her brother is WILD. WIIIIIILD.”
Rita also slammed the series, telling Insider that Netflix did not contact her about the series and believes it’s “sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy.”
For more on this topic, follow the Film & TV Observer.