Extremely wicked, incredibly evil and vile; the words used by the judge to describe serial murderer Ted Bundy during his 1989 trial. It does attempt to refresh this notorious true story by putting the focus not on Bundy’s heinous crimes but on the effect his dark charm had on others particularly his long-suffering girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall (Lily Collins). The script was developed first hand from Kendall’s book accounting her and Bundy’s relationship, leaving for an authentic feel to the story.
What it lacked in the story department was made up for in performances, specifically Zac Efron’s performance as Bundy.
The film doesn’t however quite hit the perspective mark as by showing Kendall’s journey you lose a lot of the main attraction which is Bundy’s story and motivations. Throughout the film I felt frustrated by the clunky and incomplete feel to the scenes, the chronological jumps added to this making it impossible for the audience to piece together a complete timeline.
What it lacked in the story department was made up for in performances, specifically Zac Efron’s performance as Bundy. It was as if someone had ripped up my High School Musical posters, spat on them, burnt them and from the ashes rose this unsettlingly portrayal of one of the most feared serial killers of all time. Efron had come under some fire for this controversial role, however he held the responsibility well, by not only brilliantly executing Bundy’s mannerisms but manipulating his boyish charms to create not an imitation but an accomplished performance. Lily Collins beside him was also strong however unfortunately restricted by the story she was telling. She spent most the film sobbing at Bundy’s televised trial while Efron got to flex his muscles parading dramatically in front of the judge and jury. If you know little about Bundy’s story this is not the place to start, however is an entertaining look at the man from fresh eyes.