Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile is gripping despite knowing all about Ted Bundy's trial

ANY film about a real-life serial killer is going to whip up some controversy.

Sky Cinema’s (who are really getting stuck into their own original slate lately) take on Ted Bundy’s adult life has indeed been mired in accusations of glamorisation.

I find this odd given the endless fascination shown by the media to the real-life Bundy during his court case – but that’s controversy for you – never knowingly needed to make sense.

“EWSEAV” is told through the story of two main characters — Zac Efron is Bundy, the handsome and charming murderer and Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins) the girlfriend in denial. We see them meet and fall in love, then unravel as Ted starts to attract the attention of the police.

Essentially a straightforward crime story merged with re-enactments of events seen on TV at the time (Bundy’s indictment and following trial), Efron does well to throw aside his beefcake pinup image and brings a creepy edge to the whole film — which is tricky when we already know he’s guilty.

Collins is understated throughout, her disbelief at her own gullibility is something we’d probably all struggle with. John Malkovich is, as expected, excellent as Judge Edward Cowart.

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It’s given the sheen of an expensive TV movie (indeed it lands on Sky Cinema as well as actual cinemas simultaneously) and despite the Netflix documentary, despite the amount we already knew about these events — I was still gripped by a trial more interesting than how it looked on camera (the first trial to be broadcast live in the states) and a really fantastic final 15 minutes.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile, 110 mins (15)


Also out this week:

  • Tolkein, 12A, 112 mins. A blnd, laborious biopic about the fantasy author which predictably, doesn’t carry the blessing of his family, starring Nicholas Hoult and Collins.
  • A Dogs Journey, PG 108 mins. The sequel to A Dogs Purpose which again eye-poppingly tells the story of a reincarnated dog voiced by Josh Gad, helping a young girl. Go figure.
  • The Curse of La Llorona, 15, 93 mins. A below average horror film set in 1973. Part of The Conjuring universe, but worse.

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