Efron ‘kills’ in “Extremely Wicked”

Indy Hurley

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Continuing on with a string of serial killer-based films, Netflix dropped their newest Ted Bundy movie, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” on May 3.

The movie, starring Zac Efron as Ted Bundy, is seen through the perspective of Bundy’s longtime girlfriend and fiancee Liz Kendall (Lily Collins).

Based off Kendall’s book titled “The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy,” Bundy and Kendall were dating for several years when Bundy was first arrested in Salt Lake City for running stop signs and held for suspicion of abduction, a crime for which he was convicted and sent to the state prison in Utah.

At first, Kendall supports and believes in Bundy’s innocence, but as the list of crimes and accusations of murder accumulate, her faith is tested.

Like any movie based on real-life events, the film misses some key details.

For example, the film glosses over the warning signs Bundy exhibited while living with Kendall and her daughter, such as his aggression and his possession of odd objects, like a hatchet, hidden in his apartment and car.

In “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” these behaviors are muted, and Bundy is, at first, portrayed as an overall good guy as opposed to a sociopath and cold-blooded killer.

However, the omission establishes more drama and intensity, leading up the movie’s chilling penultimate scene.

Some of the thought-provoking scenes were set in the courtroom and the circus surrounding Bundy’s trial for the brutal murder of two sorority women in Florida. The movie showed the scores of women, including his future wife and mother of his child, who found him charismatic and “dreamy”.

The acting in the movie is superb, particularly Zac Efron who plays a perfect Ted Bundy. Not only does he look similar to Bundy, but Efron is convincing as the serial killer. Lily Collins, who is very believable in her role as Liz, is also convincingly stellar.

Netflix also released a documentary on Ted Bundy earlier this year, so for those who are not really for the movie dramatization, the documentary is also available.

While there could have been more details from the couple’s life, the hour and 50 minute Netflix film was well-made and captivating.