★★★ | by Emma Levett
Posted on Jan 20, 2021
A chronicle of the crimes of Ted Bundy, from the perspective of his longtime girlfriend, who refused to believe the truth about him for years.
First and foremost, this was a stunning performance by Zac Efron (Ted Bundy), who was both harrowingly charming and frustratingly charismatic. The plot revolves around the true story of serial killer Ted Bundy through the eyes of his long-term girlfriend Liz Kendall (Lilly Collins).
Albeit the film disclosed some gruesome acts of violence, it omitted any full scenes of the crimes itself which gave the film a refreshing angle to unforgiving events. It highlighted the impact, distress and confusion that these moments had on spouses and families and how the people closest to Ted Bundy can be forgiven for believing the facade.
The casting of Efron with his handsome looks and striking resemblance (with the assistance of hair and wardrobe), gave us a sense of exactly what the media and the nation couldn’t make sense of. How could a man like this do such heinous crimes? There’s an obvious argument that in comparison, the modern day handsome does look different to that of the 70s… but that is the point! At times, I found myself having to snap out of the fact that Ted Bundy wasn’t a loving boyfriend or a family man. The scenes between Ted and Liz shows additional characteristics of being a sweet, kind and caring family man at the beginning of the murders, is petrifying.
More so, is the on-going relationship Ted has with Carol (Kaya Scodelario), once Liz had realised that she had been denial. Credit where credit is due Kaya Scodelario performs the role superbly and allows us to see the other side of Ted Bundy. A glimpse of how he could have manipulated and leered young women into believing they were safe and he was innocent.
I would have loved to rate this film more highly as I really enjoyed it, but for me the message as to who’s viewpoint it was became lost after Ted Bundy’s arrest. The scenes with Liz became random and generic, either she was drinking or the phone was ringing none stop. I was really craving a further depth of character whilst the trials and tribulations were happening. It also didn’t help that I had watched ‘conversations with a killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes’ prior to the movie, which meant I was over analysing every detail. A word of advice if you haven’t already; watch the movie before the documentary!
People don’t realize that murderers do not come out in the dark with long teeth and saliva dripping off their chin. People don’t realize that there are killers among them. People they liked, loved, lived with, work with and admired could the next day turn out to be the most demonic people imaginable – Ted Bundy