Zac Efron Delivers His Best and Most Sinister Performances Yet
Zac Efron delivers one of his most eerie performance yet as Ted Bundy in a drama that showcases why this serial killer still haunts us today.
A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy (Zac Efron), from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend (Lily Collins), who refused to believe the truth about him for years.
Serial killers have always triggered curiosity in people – the fear and horror that they embody isn’t just in the gruesomeness of their crimes but how they can look think “normal” people. Ted Bundy was the ultimate monster. In the 1970s, when he was caught and put on trial. People had a hard time believing that Bundy could have committed these violent acts. But that’s what is terrifying about him. He seemed to make a statement in the world just by his presence: that the vilest creature fathomed could be anyone, even the person closest to you.
Directed by Joe Beringer, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile casts Zac Efron as Ted Bundy, and the movie uses most of its screen time in showcasing Bundy’s “normal” side, that side that wasn’t out on a killing spree. One could say that the film is categorizing Bundy’s evil. That main reason films like this are even made is that there is a large number of people who are obsessed with serial killers, which in recent years has spread to the culture at large.
Zac Efron is scary good in is role as Ted Bundy. He is controlled, magnetic, bold, committed and eerily charming. With his hair grown out, Efron looks identical to Bundy and uses his stealthy charm to fascinate us as soon as the film begins, stalking a college bar in 1969 Seattle. This is where he meets Liz Kendall (Lilly Collins). Liz is a single mother who becomes his love interest throughout the years of his crimes. Collins is just brilliant as Liz as she desperately tries to deny that Ted could do these things, drowning herself in alcohol.
Throughout the film, Ted is trying hard to fool Liz, but it’s the final scene in prison, right before he is set to die by electric chair, that delivers the most chilling performance that the film has been leading up to. It’s a bold move on the director’s part. In this chilling last scene, Liz begs Ted to release her by revealing the truth and Berlinger creates a moment so haunting that links to the word Ted writes on the glass. Throughout the film, we have not seen one of his crimes but in a quick-cut scene we do and it will send shivers down your spine.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile succeeds in not rubbing our noses in the horror that is Ted Bundy. It gives us just enough and keeps the horrors where it should be: in our imagination and will forever remain too much to fathom.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is now streaming on Netflix.
Critic Review: 4.5/5 Stars
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