Long before Jeremy Renner netted an Oscar nomination for his star turn in Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker,” he took on the role of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, whose claim to fame was that he not only seduced and murdered his male victims but cut up, stored and ate them as well. In this surprisingly restrained though undeniably disturbing film, Renner brings everything he’s got to the role. Though “Dahmer” definitely has its share of shortcomings, they’re really due to its script more than anything else; Renner’s performance is admirable, and a must for anyone wanting to watch his evolution as an actor. Available on Netflix streaming!
2. “Let Me In”
Matt Reeves (“Cloverfield”) directed this remake of Thomas Alfredson’s seminal vampire film “Let The Right One In.” That combination–I loved “Cloverfield”–is enough to put this film squarely at the top of my queue! It’s only an added bonus that the two child stars are played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, who was riveting in “The Road,” and Chloe Moretz, recently of “Kick-Ass” fame. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve got a good enough feeling about it to recommend it anyway. Available on Netflix streaming.
For those of you not looking for vampires, dismemberment, or cannibalism, here’s a slightly more family-friendly flick for your queue. This fabulous documentary explores the lives of several live action role-players (the activity is referred to as LARPing) who have created their own fantasy kingdom, complete with Tolkien-esque history, topography and political machinations. The line between “real life” and their shared fantasy world slowly blurs as the film goes on, and the portrait the film paints of its subjects is nothing less than fascinating. A must for anyone who enjoys the LOTR or Harry Potter films a little more than they really should. Available on Netflix streaming.