Movie Review: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

This film is directed by Joe Berlinger and it stars Zac Efron, Lily Collins, James Hetfield, Jim Parsons, Haley Joel Osment and John Malkovich.

This film is based on the book “The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy” by his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer. This film follows the events of the Ted Bundy murders all from the perspective of his girlfriend, who refuses to believe everything is true.

When I first heard this film was going to be made I was intrigued by it, then I learned about the cast and my anticipation went up. After hearing that this film wouldn’t get a wider theatrical release (and was being released on Netflix) my only thought was that this must be bad.

I watched the tapes of Ted Bundy (which is also on Netflix) just to prepare myself for this film and I admit that those tapes increased my interest for this film. I’m conflicted about this movie. I think this is one of the few times where I don’t know what to think and therefore I don’t know what to write! Perhaps not knowing what to expect from this movie may explain why I’m conflicted. I will say this, Ted Bundy was definitely humanized in this movie and it didn’t bother me because one of Bundy’s attributes was that he didn’t fit the mold of the stereotypical serial killer. Zac Efron gives a stellar performance (I’ve been hearing Oscar buzz already for his performance, but I’d have to see it once more to make that decision) and Lily Collins gives a good performance too. The supporting cast do their due and lift their weight. Here I go again with flashback storytelling and in this movie it did bother me plenty as in many instances I was confused and didn’t quite know what I was watching. The film is told from the perspective of the girlfriend, who of course refuses to accept the truth. I haven’t had the opportunity to read the book this film is based on but now I can understand why this film was what it was. If the girlfriend refused to accept the truth then in her mind none of this happened therefore we don’t see any of it in this movie. The film shows maybe 2 or 3 violent scenes but it does not shy away from describing the atrocious crimes Bundy committed (all during the court scenes). Other than the good performances I can’t say anything else about this movie. I feel like it’s messy at times because they weren’t sure on what to give us. I found myself being hooked and then losing interest and getting hooked again. Not sure if I can recommend to see this movie. It’s on Netflix so it’s easier to access.

I give this film a 5 out of 10

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