Starring: Lily Collins, Zac Efron and John Malkovich
“Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil and Vile.” These were the words that were used in sentencing of Ted Bundy to death by electric chair by Florida Judge Edward D Cowart. This film debuted at the Sundance film festival where it received many good reviews. So good that Netflix bought the movie to release on May 3, 2019.
Zac Efron stars in this thriller that tells the true story of Ted Bundy from a viewpoint that has not been depicted by Hollywood before. I was excited yet terrified to see Efron portray a psychopath serial killer. If you’re into crime stories like myself, then before this film you may have watched Netflix’s The Ted Bundy Tapes. The director of this documentary, Joe Berlinger, is the same director as Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil and Vile. Berlinger definitely knew his background of Bundy before having him portrayed in this semi-non-fictional movie.
The film is told from the point of view of Bundy’s long term girlfriend Liz (Lily Collins). Liz was unaware of Bundy’s actions during the time of their romance. Because the audience is limited to Liz’s point of view throughout the story, it helps us to understand why she would doubt his involvement in these horrific crimes. Zac Efron does a fantastic job portraying Bundy and shows how he used charm and manipulation to lure women to their deaths. Charm was a main tactic of Bundy’s that gained his victim’s trust right before he would strike.
Pros: With the story being limited to Liz’s point of view, the audience can justify why she was in the dark during Ted’s killing spree. We also get to see Liz coming to terms that she was involved with a psychopath and dealing with the fact that she loved someone who was so evil. While viewers didn’t see Bundy’s crimes being committed, Efron does a great job of keeping a charming yet creepy vibe about him the entire film. I did enjoy the ending when they reveal Bundy murdering an innocent girl that he had charmed into helping him to his car. The entire film I wasn’t sure if he actually committed any crimes or if it was like he said: the cops were just after him. But in the end Ted lifts the veal to Liz and she sees him for who he truly is. A murderer.
Cons: This story moved a little slow. Although I was nervous to see an actor I’ve seen since my teenage years portray a serial killer, I thought the scenes would be a little darker. At the same time I’m glad I didn’t have to see that. This left me at a crossroads with the film. I wanted more, but not really. Also, why is he so tan in prison?
I would recommend anyone who wanted to watch this to sit through The Ted Bundy Tapes documentary first to get the full story. I feel like if I hadn’t of watched that documentary, I wouldn’t know what was going on in this film. Overall I think the film did a good job at limiting Ted Bundy to Liz’s point of view. This was a great way to honor the thirty victims and not shine light on their Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil and Vile murders.
Written By: Meagen Carone
Edited By: Kristen Smith