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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

Zac Efron, Macie Carmosino and Lily Collins appear in <i>Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile</i> directed by Joe Berlinger, an official selection of the Premieres program the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Brian Douglas. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, directed by Joe Berlinger, is the eighth mainstream movie about Ted Bundy and it proves that Zac Effron is more than just a teen pin up but unfortunately like a self defending Ted Bundy it was unable to prove much else. The decision to take the point of view of Ted’s partner Elizabeth Kendall (based on her book The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy) is a nice move in displaying how Bundy was seen by others and Lily (daughter of Phil) Collins plays the role in such a way that you can see just what Bundy meant to her at one point in her life. Her realisations later though and not explored greatly until the end of the movie where again Collins delivers in great depth.

Instead the point of view shifts to a courtroom drama with Bundy grandstanding for an audience, the horrors of his crimes brushed over in favour of the audience viewing Bundy’s sociopathic ways. Whilst we did not necessarily need to see the things that the gruesome serial killer movie chic of the past has shown us it would have been nice to have some contrast of the evil things that Ted did before the “shocking” revelation Lily has at the end of the movie when the movie returns its focus to her.

Verdict: 6/10. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile consists of two excellent movie bookends that suffer from a massive loss of focus in the middle where Lily is little more than a bit part player. This would almost be ok apart from the fact she is supposed to be the focus of the movie. I have no problem with the actors involved and all deliver, Effron and Collins especially present a loving relationship that hides a dark secret; as does a non-Sheldon James Parsons. Also keep your eyes peeled for James Hetfield! Just a shame as it could of been a lot more.

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