Can we stop having hot actors play serial killers?

On September 21, 2022, Netflix came out with a new series called “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story”, starring Evan Peters as the infamous serial killer Jeffery Dahmer. He was responsible for the murder and dismembering of 17 young men and boys of color. This release has caused another wave of romanticizing serial killers especially through the media and television.

Video edits for Evan Peters playing Jeffery Dahmer have been circling the internet. People have been commenting on how “hot” Peters looks as Dahmer, shying away from the horrendous acts that he did. Comments circulating social media platforms like “mkay but why is Evan Peters so hot as Jeffrey Dahmer,” Another one says: “‘Stop romanticizing serial killers’” okay then why is it evan peters [sic]”

This is not the first role Peters has been reluctant to take as he has played many serial killers in a show called “American Horror Story”. The show has released 11 seasons containing different stories of the demonic creatures who haunt their house. Peters has played many different characters which he has had to dive deep into psychopathic tendencies. These tendencies have marked Peters as the perfect actor to play serial killers including the similar facial structures and physical similarities. This is similar to when Zac Efron played Ted Bundy in “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile”. This movie shows Ted Bundy’s crimes, his sentences, and the relationships between his ex-wife, Carole Ann Boone. When Ted Bundy was convicted he had flocks of women who believed he was “hot” despite his heinous crimes.

“I was very scared about all of the things that Dahmer did, and diving into that and trying to commit to [playing this character] was absolutely going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life because I wanted it to be very authentic,” Peters said in an interview with Netflix. “It felt important to be respectful to the victims and to the victims’ families to try to tell the story as authentically as we could.”

Especially with American horror, there tends to be a fascination with serial killers. There has been a mass amount of shows, books, podcasts, or movies all made about them. The public (including me) is so interested in what exactly happened when it came to the killers around us. The process of new content coming out constantly, no matter the particular way they take it, if that is in the victim’s eyes, a bystander, or the killer’s, it is still creates a glorification towards these killers.

“Our fascination with serial killers is part of a broader tendency that humans have to be intrigued by dangerous situations,” psychologist and writer for “Psychology Today”, Colton Scrivner, said. “Our minds deal with dangerous people like they do with other dangerous predators: We try to learn about them when it is safe to do so because this helps us know how to more effectively avoid them.”

Seeing another face that we have seen play Troy Bolton from “High School Musical” or Ross Lynch, in general, has put a twist on what our brain goes through. We must remember that they are portraying serial killers who have done horrifying things to people. The public and especially social media needs to make sure that we are not putting any light on the serial killers rather giving respect to the victims and their families who have gone through worse.