Unless you are unlucky enough to be based in the UK (seriously it seems we are the one area left out) You will have seen that Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is available on your Netflix. The film that chronicles the capture and trial of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy has garnered a lot of attention but is it any good?
Settle down, that isn’t our review. Just a point to be made about the movie. It is a little sensationalist. I mean sure it is fair to say that some of the dialogue is precisely what Bundy said. However, some scenes clearly use Hollywood’s creative license. For instance the sex scene with Carole Ann Boone and Ted Bundy.
Does this bring the Ted Bundy story to life?
Before we go into detail about the cast if we were to focus purely on the way the characters look then the casting was spot-on. You can put most of the main cast side by side with their real-life counterparts and almost convince yourself they are the same people.
Although it is not the first time that we have seen Efron play a jerk. He was great in the comedy Bad Neighbours. This is the first time we have seen him play a character this dark. By his own admission, he never wanted to play a serial killer and was weary about glorifying Bundy’s actions. Efron puts in an even display and at times his smile is creepy and unnerving. It was said that Bundy was quite the charmer and that is certainly put across. I think just a tiny bit more menace was required to represent the other side of Bundy’s personality. It’s a good performance but it could have been spectacular.
In many ways, the film tells her story and this is a great way of handling it without sensationalising Bundy. Lily Collin’s portrayal of the character is great ranging from the “loving looks” in flashbacks to their early relationship, to the mounting suspicion. It is a moving performance by the actress, who interestingly is the daughter of musician Phil Collins.
Carole Ann Boone
Boone’s character was given a creepy “stalker” vibe by Kaya Scodelario. This strange on-screen personality made the character captivating and interesting. You got the feeling that either she was so besotted by Ted that she believed him or that she just didn’t care either way.
Yes, he is played by “Sheldon Cooper” and it was a great chance for the Big Bang star (real name Jim Parsons) to show his range. I would have liked to have seen more of this character and it seemed like a decent turn by Parsons but he wasn’t afforded much screen time.
John Edward Cowart
The judge whose famous words earned the movie its title. The delivery by Malkovich is what you would expect from an acting heavyweight. The judge’s words were interesting as he declared he had no personal malice against Bundy. Odd considering the brutal nature of some of his killings but perhaps a reflection on how Bundy’s character was able to win people over.
Overall reflection on Ted Bundy movie
This is not a total historical piece. If you want that check out the documentaries on Netflix. It also suffers, as so many movies do, from having a trailer that makes the film look more interesting then it is. If you’re expecting a bloody-slasher you’ll be disappointed. Most of the film Bundy spends in incarceration. It was watchable but I fear that in trying to make sure that Bundy wasn’t glorified they have taken an enigmatic murderer and covered up the fact that he was enigmatic. It would have been nice to really show his ugly side to de-glamorise him in that way.