Reactions to Netflix's Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile have been mixed, depending on where you look. Some viewers have expressed trepidation over how the film handled such an incredibly sensitive subject, while others wholeheartedly embraced Zac Efron's turn as serial killer Ted Bundy. These 9 reactions to Extremely Wicked are mostly positive, but they keep in mind the true story behind the Netflix film. The movie attempts to capture Bundy's manipulative appeal, but it's important that the audience doesn't get swept along by Efron's charisma.
That seems to be the most divisive point in most reviews of the movie. A few of the Twitter fans below appreciated that Extremely Wicked made them feel conflicted about Efron's portrayal as Bundy, so they could get a sense of just how blindsided his girlfriend Liz Kendall (played by Lily Collins) was when she found out he was a murderer. But there's been criticism, too. There have been concerns about romanticizing Bundy since the trailer was released, and Empire even called the film "occasionally too lighthearted for its own good."
Another common critique, in both Empire's review and Vulture's, is that Extremely Wicked didn't dig deeply enough into its characters to reveal anything new. All media is subjective, so perhaps you'll find yourself giving snaps to the following reactions — or sincerely disagreeing.
One thing almost everyone can agree on is that Efron did his best to transform into his character. He looked like Bundy, sounded like him, and even imitated his mannerisms.
Props Where Props Are Due
The Real Story
However, as intriguing as Efron might be, one has to remember that he was playing someone truly horrific. This Twitter user made sure to share the names of all the women Bundy confessed to killing. According to Women's Health, the real number may be even higher, but Bundy killed at least 30 women between 1974 and 1978. And they deserve to be remembered.
And that's why some viewers have no interest in the whole endeavor. That started with the trailer, which seemed tonally insensitive to the murders by emphasizing Bundy's charisma and his ability to sway people to his side. True crime can be a tricky genre for that reason; media can and should explore complex topics, but can't lose sight of the intrinsic horror.
A Shock Indeed
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I mean, can you really enjoy Troy Bolton twirling around to music in the same way again?
Extremely Wicked explores a complicated, contentious topic, so it makes sense that reactions to it would be similarly conflicted.