Zac Efron, the latest actor to portray Ted Bundy in a new film about the notorious killer, left quite a few people feeling uncomfortable with his latest role. And while some people didn’t quite know how to feel about the dark side of Efron, others were “sickeningly drawn in.”
Bundy, a narcissistic sociopath who admitted to killing at least 30 women during the 1970s, was considered an extremely charming man, which helped him gain the trust of unsuspecting victims for years. In Efron’s latest movie, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” director Joe Berlinger made sure Bundy’s overabundance of charm was accounted for, but did he push it to the point of romanticizing a killer?
“The wink is extremely disturbing and the romanticization of a serial killer is exactly why these sick [expletive] continue to do things like this to women. Notoriety,” former Fifth Harmony member, Lauren Jauregui, wrote on Twitter. “This is appalling.”
I've seen a lot of talk about Ted Bundy’s alleged hotness and would like to gently remind everyone that there are literally THOUSANDS of hot men on the service — almost all of whom are not convicted serial murderers
— Netflix US (@netflix) January 28, 2019
“No longer ordinary. It is still all about him. Again. Can you name me one, just one of the young women whose lives he took?” Twitter user Rebecca Rideal said.
— BuzzFeed UK (@BuzzFeedUK) January 28, 2019
Daily Beast movie critic Kevin Fallon, who called he film “problematic” added that the movie had “little in the way of dissection or even depiction of the murders, which has the absurd effect of elevating Efron’s winsome Bundy into a protagonist you root for getting away with it all. ,”
“Zac Efron is hot. But then what?”
Another Twitter user indicated that she felt bad for the family of the victims who sit through the “witty romantic thriller.”
“I feel so bad for the families of the victims that have to sit there and see their terrors revived as a witty romantic thriller.”
On the other hand, some critics wrote that Efron portrayed Bundy exactly how he was when he carried out his reign of terror: a charming and intelligent serial killer who used his handsome looks and smarts to lure women in.
Variety Fair writer Richard Lawson wrote he was “sickeningly drawn in” by Efron, who gives a “controlled, thoughtful performance; a mature one, too.”
Zac Efron as Ted Bundy is kinda perfect casting cause you can't believe that he could possibly play a terrifying serial killer in the same way that you couldn't have looked at Ted Bundy and believed that he *was* a terrifying serial killer. https://t.co/kew3IpkvVf
— John Squires (@FreddyInSpace) January 25, 2019
Berlinger defended the flick while speaking with The Salt Lake Tribune. He denied trying to glorify a killer and implored people to understand the movie was told through the eyes of Bundy’s ex, Liz Kloepfer (played by Lily Collins), who was mesmerized by him.
“We’re giving the audience the same experience Liz had in their encounter with Ted. That experience being ‘able to be deceived by somebody who’s so believable and charismatic’. I certainly don’t think we’re glorifying him because he gets his due.”
“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” was released at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in Utah, on January 26.
[Feature Photo: Ted Bundy via AP]