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  • Angela SarafyanLily Collins...
  • Action & AdventureBiography...
  • Joe Berlinger
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Cairo 360
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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile: Nothing New

How can you make a movie about one of the most famous serial killers boring? You tell people what they already know, and unfortunately, that’s precisely what Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil, and Vile did.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile tells the story of infamous serial killer Ted Bundy (Zac Efron) as he goes through the lengthy trial process regarding multiple murders, and the perspective of his girlfriend Liz (Lily Collins) through her own nightmare.

The feature tells the true story of Ted Bundy’s case and works on recreating as many events as possible from actual coverage of the case, which is interesting but also problematic. It’s interesting because it gives the film a level of authenticity; however, the film’s insistence on replicating as many situations as possible diverts it away from adding anything new to a story that most people already know.

Yes, the film leans towards a focus on the perspective of Ted’s girlfriend, but it does so in a prolonged, monotonous manner, only showing how she was suffering through the trial with the realisation that she trusted a man who is a serial killer.

The result of these two decisions is that Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile ends up with no interesting perspective and is more concerned with recreating already seen moments from Bundy case than anything else.

With these aspects in consideration, the feature’s plot is mainly focused on the trial process, with the first half of the film having the slowest of paces and no real surprises.

The second half of the feature had more surprises and a couple of twists that made matters much more interesting. However, it was very disappointing for audiences to not see a single scene of serial killer Ted Bundy in action, and barely hearing about the severity of his crimes. There was no insight into his psychology, why he did what he did, how he was as a child, or any new aspect for audiences; this may be due to director Joe Berlinger’s documentary experience.

For the acting, Zac Efron was able to master the charming aspect of Bundy’s personality using every tool at his disposal from meticulous body language to subtle facial expressions. However, Efron only barely showed any menace, which may be the director’s call. Lily Collins was able to add some character to her role as the constantly devastated Liz.

If you don’t mind slow paced films and do not really care about the possible potential and expectations of a movie about the life of one of the most infamous serial killers of all time, then maybe you won’t be so disappointed.

Like This? Try

Monster (2003), Seven (1995), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Zodiac (2007).  

360 Tip

The name of this film came from a quote from the court judge on Bundy's trial. "The crimes were extremely wicked, shockingly evil, vile, and the product of design to inflict a high degree of pain."

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