“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” finally hit Netflix last week after months of anticipation. The story, as can be understood by the title, covers a mature and dark topic and is consequently rated R, so be wary if you decide to watch it.
The film follows the crimes and trials of Ted Bundy, who murdered more than 30 women in the 1970s. It loosely is portrayed from the perspective of Bundy’s fiancee, Elizabeth Kloepfer.
When the first trailer was released, a lot of apprehension surrounded the film. People feared that the story would be more of a glorification of Ted Bundy rather than a realistic take of him.
I went into the movie expecting it to glorify Bundy, but as I watched, I never felt like it did. While the movie didn’t portray him as despicable as one would hope, it did show the facade that Bundy used to convince everyone around him.
Bundy was known for being charming and using it to his advantage. In my opinion, Zac Efron did a perfect job of portraying the manipulative narcissist that he Bundy was. His representation of Bundy urged me to sympathize with the many women who were fooled by his behavior.
There was anger over the choice of actor for Bundy, as people thought he was too attractive for the role. However, they could not have done it any other way and it remain realistic. Many thought that Ted Bundy was attractive at that time, so keeping that aspect of the story within the movie was important.
Fan of the movie, Mackenzie Hall, said that having him attractive “makes it more eye opening for girls watching the movie.”
Girls are aware that looks can be deceiving. It is not always a grotesque old man who commits these crimes; it can be anyone.
Elizabeth Kloepfer was blind for years before she believed that Bundy could be the one responsible for the crimes. In later years, and as a plot twist in the movie, it was revealed that Kloepfer was the one that tipped off the police about the possibility of Bundy’s involvement.
Throughout the movie, it mainly focused on the court cases Bundy went through and everything he did to try to win rather than the crimes themselves. It also showed the times that Bundy escaped from imprisonment.
“I kind of like it better that way because it didn’t glorify Ted, it just showed how he outsmarted police and how cunning he was,” Hall said.
Watching, I wondered how similar the movie was to the real story. To my surprise, it was relatively accurate. Carole Ann Boone did actually marry him while he was in prison and became pregnant with his child. Also, he did actually escape from custody twice.
The main difference between the film and the real thing is one scene where Bundy admits to killing someone to Kloepfer in person at Florida State Prison. In reality, Kloepfer described in her memoir that Bundy called her and told her that he had a sickness that made him do those things. He also warned her for the details that would come out about the crimes.
I was overall pleasantly surprised with the film. It did not glorify Ted Bundy as many thought. Instead, it provided an important message about manipulation.