Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile follows the horrific crimes of Ted Bundy (Zac Efron) from the point of view of his former girlfriend, Elizabeth Kendall. (Lily Collins)
Having just recently watched the fantastic documentary about Bundy on Netflix, you can check out my review of that here, I was intrigued to see how this film would handle and document the horrific events that occurred. The answer is, it rather shies away from them and doesn’t really show you anything until the climax. I completely understand why the film took this route, as it obviously wouldn’t want to be seen as glorifying the horrific crimes that Bundy committed, but unfortunately, this route is, at a lot of times, rather dull. I wouldn’t say it was particularly bad, but I couldn’t help but feel that the film completely lacked any real substance. Although billed as being seen from the perspective of Bundy’s girlfriend, I found Kendall to be rather absent from proceedings for large portions of the film and it certainly didn’t appear to me that she was a primary focus, she felt very secondary throughout, which meant that everything in between just came across like a dramatized, dumbed-down documentary, which then shifted into a dull courtroom drama at the end.
But, it isn’t all bad, despite being extremely lacking in almost all areas, I have to say that this, without a doubt, the best performance I have ever seen from Zac Efron on screen. His portrayal of Bundy alone makes this film watchable, in fact, despite having no desire to watch it again, I would say that you need to see it just to witness the bone-chilling performance he gives. He captures the terrifying charm and charisma of Bundy perfectly, and it’s impossible to keep your eyes off of him throughout the entire duration of the film. The rest of the cast are perfectly fine, but he is just on a whole other level in this flick.
I wouldn’t rush to watch this film, if I were you, but if you ever find yourself with nothing else to do, then it’s worth watching for Zac Efron alone. However, if you’re looking for a serial killer fix, or you’re interested in Ted Bundy and his horrific acts, then you should watch the Netflix documentary instead, it’s far superior.
I give Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile a 6/10.