Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Review: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile

Director: Joe Berlinger
Screenplay: Michael Werwie
Year: 2019

Synopsis: Liz, a single mother, falls in love with Ted Bundy without knowing about his dark secret. Once information starts to appear about the crimes for which he is responsible, Liz is forced to face the reality of who really is the man she trusted.

“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” draws its title from the words used by the judge in Bundy’s trial when referring to the crimes he committed. This movie tells the story of the famous killer Ted Bundy based on the book published by who was his partner for many years Elizabeth Kloepfer titled “The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy”. In favor of those who do not know the story, Ted Bundy is famous for being the author of dozens of women murders, rape, theft, aggression, and acts of necrophilia in the 70’s decade. What distinguishes this serial killer is that he was a handsome, smart, and highly charismatic man, which for many people it was hard to believe that he was the author of the crimes he was accused of. His case was of so much public interest that it became the first televised trial in history.

It is interesting how the movie does not seek to show the way in which Bundy thought or how the crimes take place, and instead, it focuses on the image that he projected to society. This is so well crafted that even when you know the details of the life of this famous confessed killer, in parts you doubt that he could commit such horrible crimes. Although the direction by Joe Berlinger and the script by Michael Werwie (“A Rose Reborn”) are an integral part of this, it is the acting what is really effective sending this message. Zac Efron (“The Greatest Showman”) manages to capture the charisma that characterized Bundy and unfold as if it was the killer himself. Like Efron, Lilly Collins (“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones”) as Liz and the rest of the cast do a magnificent job.

Something that I disliked about the movie is that I expected the plot to be more focused on the perspective of Liz since it is based on her book. Instead, she is present in about a little more than half of the movie, and the rest is focused on Ted Bundy and his trial. It is worth noting that the trial is very well crafted, and it pays plenty of attention to details, considering that it is a recreation of a recorded and known trial. Besides this, there is not any other negative in which to expand; the movie is well crafted in all aspects and knows how to deliver its message.

This movie has suffered from some negative backlash from people that consider that it is glorifying the image of a serial killer, but my perception about it is completely different. How can a person be capable of such things as what Bundy did and look like a normal and pleasant person is bone-chilling and this movie does an excellent job at portraying it. “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” puts in perspective the danger that these people represent in society and the vulnerability of the people surrounding them that have no idea of what they are capable of doing.

“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” is a magnificent depiction of what Ted Bundy represents in society. The clear example is how even when the reasons why this person was being put on trial were publicly known, women still commented about Bundy’s physical appearance and even went to the courthouse where the trial took place just to see him. These were the attributes that characterized this killer and that were key in his success when committing the crimes. This movie delivers a clear message that has its highest exposition in the final scene, which gives me goosebumps just to think about it.


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