Brian Douglas/Netflix

9 Reactions To 'Extremely Wicked' That Make It Hard To See Troy Bolton The Same Way Again

Share

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.

Constant Vigilance

In the movie, Liz is unaware (or unwilling to believe) that her long-term, live-in boyfriend killed so many women. That's partly because Ted is so convincing. After watching, it seems like some viewers were feeling a little shifty about the possibility of the wool being pulled over their eyes, too.

Suspicious Minds

Seriously, if you can't trust Troy Bolton, then who can you trust?

Transformative

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

Being impressed with Zefron's performance was one of the most common refrains on Twitter, in fact.

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.

Mixed Emotions

Bundy was famously manipulative, which Efron was able to emulate to such a degree that he left the audience feeling uncertain, too. It may give you some insight into how Liz was feeling, but it's also just incredibly yikes.

30 Women

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

This is heavy stuff! Please enjoy some levity: try to revisit High School Musical now that Efron has used his teen idol charm for evil.

Bet On It

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.