I just want to prefix this post with a potential spoiler warning – I personally don’t think a film based on true life events can necessarily have spoilers, but if you don’t want to know anything about this film then stop reading now.
When the trailers for the Ted Bundy biopic featuring Zac Efron as the notorious mass murderer hit the internet a few months back, I told myself it was a movie that I wouldn’t be watching, but as being a Sky customer meant I could watch the film on the tv in the comfort of my own home on the same day it hit cinemas, I found myself putting it on out of sheer curiosity.
I have never been into this sort of thing. I’m not into murder documentaries or true crime and I refuse to watch anything that glorifies or romanticises abusive relationships or domestic violence and I figured those themes would be inherent in this film which was why I was put off, but I had some reasons behind why I found myself hitting play.
Firstly, the response to the trailers had me interested. My twitter feed was divided into two types of people: those who were going googly-eyed over Zac Efron, as so many of my generation do, and those who were incredibly annoyed by the former, concerned that this film would romanticise the real life character of Ted Bundy, who raped and murdered so many young women. I guess I fell in the latter, and I really wanted to know if this film would be turning viewers into living versions of the heart eyes emoji – hoping, of course, it would not.
Not I don’t know if because I went into this movie with concerns that I was immune to it, but I certainly did not feel like Ted was made to attract the audience. Sure, the part was played incredibly well by Zac Efron, and his character of the deceptively sweet-talking and certain man that his namesake was was very clearly portrayed, but at no point did I feel like many people would be swooning over what I was watching. I think that knowing the true outcome of the case that shocked a generation was the main factor in all of this – we go in knowing that the man is guilty – so my initial concerns were put to rest.
Through the whole movie I knew he was a lying, manipulative criminal and all I wanted was for Liz, played by Lily Collins, to get the happy life away from him that she deserved.
As for the rest of the film, I don’t know if impressed is the word but I respected it. The acting was incredible, the storytelling was clever and when during the end credits they played actual tapes from the real trial, I couldn’t not feel like hats off was due to the director who had really made many of the scenes from the film like for like. There were no proper scenes of any of the crimes committed – which I appreciated very much – only one brief and partially shown incident was in the movie, which I thought showed some respect to the real life victims.
Will I watch it again? Probably not, but my curiosity was satisfied and I am glad it was made in the way I hoped it would be.