A Glorification of a Notorious Killer

Kathryn Sturdevant, Herald Contributor

High School Musical fans may have been shocked by a certain trailer released on Jan. 26.

A movie trailer was released about one of America’s most famous serial killers, Ted Bundy. The movie is not a documentary. It’s a biographical picture with former Disney star, Zac Efron, playing the infamous murderer. The movie shows his disturbing life through the lenses of actors and drama. When the movie titled, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” released the trailer, much of the public was not pleased.

The first reaction from many people was that they felt that the movie was glorifying and romanticizing Ted Bundy by using one of America’s sweetheart actors. Along with this notion, the trailer focused in on parts where the character, Ted, was playing with his girlfriend’s daughter while him and his girlfriend act lovingly toward each other. This automatically caught people’s attention and they started noticing this sort of empathy and satisfaction for Ted’s character in the movie. Because of the talk of whether the movie is glorifying this evil killer, the director, Joe Berlinger, came out and mentioned that it was not his intention to do so, and that the movie does Ted justice, portraying him as the psychopath he was. The real-life killer confessed to murdering 30 women and young girls across seven states, although this was never truly confirmed.

Some might suggest that what the movie is doing with Efron as Bundy is showing the same feelings that some had towards the real killer. Bundy had a charm and attractiveness about him. The movie’s purpose is to show the life of Bundy in a more dramatic and cinematic light, and with that, it can both worry the public or fascinate them.