‘Extremely Wicked’ shows power of manipulation through amazing performances

Brianna Carmack, Opinions Editor

The charismatic, handsome devil proceeds to be the center of attention once again.

The story of Ted Bundy, a serial killer, rapist and necrophiliac, was presented in the new dramatic film, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile,” in which the title of the film was a quote of the judge’s verdict during Ted Bundy’s trial. The movie was released on Netflix last Friday.

The story begins in 1969 when Ted (Zac Efron) encounters the love of his life, Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins). He was notorious for his slick approach and charm in which he was able to get the attention of Elizabeth, thus turning a friendship into a relationship. Throughout this infamous relationship, Ted grows a negative interest in killing and raping due to psychological issues. As more and more disappearances and murders are brought to the attention of Elizabeth, her doubts about Ted grow to be stronger and stronger. Although we aren’t really taken through the crimes and murders themselves, the film puts on a dramatic irony in which we know that Ted is the one guilty.

“Extremely Wicked” includes strong actors playing strong roles, such as Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Kaya Scodelario (Carole Ann Boone); Jim Parsons (Larry Simpson; and John Malkovich (Judge Cowart).

The movie is not only based on Ted Bundy’s trial and his life story but also based on the book written by Elizabeth Kloepfer, “The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy.”

While watching “Extremely Wicked,” I was amazed by Efron’s impeccable performance as Ted Bundy. He really gave off a murderous vibe throughout the film, but also epitomized the charm that Ted had throughout his life. Collins also powered through in her performance as well. She gave off the strong vulnerabilities Elizabeth Kloepfer had during that time in her life. According to foxnews.com, Collins actually met with Elizabeth Kloepfer when the producers asked if they could continue with the makings of this film. Meeting the person who Collins was going to play for “Extremely Wicked” really helped Collins pull everything together and make sure that every scene she was in that reenacted Elizabeth’s life with Ted was accurate.

“Extremely Wicked” was directed by Joe Berlinger, who also created a four-part documentary series on Ted Bundy really did a fantastic job with keeping things accurate. After months of research to create the docu-series and the film, while also getting inspiration from Elizabeth Kloepfer, Berlinger did a flawless job of creating such an awesome film depicting the struggles Ted Bundy, his victims and Elizabeth Kloepfer went through.

I think unlike the documentary, Berlinger directs in a way to show how anyone in society can be capable of murderous crimes no matter how charming or nice. I thought it was honestly quite difficult to watch someone so charismatic and likable do all of these sick, torturous things to women. “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” shows that even the very beautiful can get away with murder.