'Extremely Wicked' Director Says Critics of Ted Bundy Movie Are 'Missing the Point'
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Zac Efron's 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile' is slammed for allegedly depicting the story of the man who murdered 30 women as a 'witty romantic thriller.'

AceShowbiz - While Zac Efron's portrayal of Ted Bundy has been a hot topic following the release of the first "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" trailer, critics are not too pleased after watching the movie at the Sundance Film Festival. Most of them find the movie disturbing for depicting the evil serial killer as a charming man.

As the trailer sees Efron's Bundy riding on a wave of popularity to maintain his innocence and win people's sympathy during his trial, Variety's Owen Glieberman says the movie "is compartmentalizing Bundy's evil" by focusing on Bundy's human side. Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson also claims, "Berlinger fails to properly contextualize the grim loyalty Bundy stokes."

The Playlist's Rodrigo Perez adds that the film "can't resist making Bundy look like a little bit of a rock star at times even though the movie purports to condemn him."

A Twitter user accuses the movie of making the story of the man who murdered 30 women more like a "witty romantic thriller." Another agrees, pointing out that the entertainment industry has the tendency to romanticize "white Male serial killers."

Some others, however, think that Bundy is depicted as a charming guy for a reason. "Ted was attractive, intelligent, and smooth," one points explains. "That's how he got the attention of the women he killed. ... Women need to be aware of who they're trusting."

Another writes on Twitter, "I've seen a few people missing the point of this trailer. The reason the trailer seems to be painting him as this charismatic good guy is because Ted Bundy was a very charasmastic, nice all American guy who no one suspected." Director Joe Berlinger replies to this tweet, "Exactly!"

He also retweets a post which states that the movie is really about Lily Collins' character, Elizabeth Kloepfer, Bundy's girlfriend "who was manipulated by a monster & yet felt guilty for his sins. If you think this glamorizes Ted Bundy, think again."

Speaking to The Salt Lake Tribune, Berlinger acknowledges the mixed reviews. "This is a very polarizing subject," he says. "There's a fine line we're drawing between people's perceptions that we're glorifying [him] versus having a real reason to be telling this story again in this way."

He also denies that the movie glorifies Bundy's evilness, "I certainly don't think we're glorifying him because he gets his due." He adds, "If it was a typical serial-killer movie ... I think that would just so poison the audience into being able to have this experience of being able to be deceived by somebody who's so believable and charismatic."

Berlinger additionally notes that "at the end, he's alone, isolated behind death row. He's a man who can't even, while he's being sentenced, admit to his crimes."

At around the same time the "Extremely Wicked" trailer was released, Netflix released Berlinger's four-part docuseries "Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes". Feeling responsible of people's reactions to Bundy's story and the attractions to the real-life serial killer, the streaming giant posts a reminder on Twitter.

"I've seen a lot of talk about Ted Bundy's alleged hotness and would like to gently remind everyone that there are literally THOUSANDS of hot men on the service - almost all of whom are not convicted serial murderers," the tweets reads.

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