Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is a new Netflix thriller about Ted Bundy. This time around Zac Efron plays Bundy and he is brilliant. Read more in this review and watch it on Netflix now!

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is the new Netflix feature film about Ted Bundy. In this new thriller, the serial killer is portrayed by Zac Efron who is absolutely brilliant in his portrayal.

While I found Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile to be a fascinating and dark look at Ted Bundy, it does start out somewhat chaotic. The story begins when Ted Bundy meets Liz Kendall. This also means it begins in the middle of his “career” as a serial killer. 

If you don’t know the story and timeline of Ted Bundy’s crimes, then it can be a bit difficult to begin watching this movie. However, if you’ve already watched the documentary Conversation with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, then you’re good to go.

Especially since the director of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is also the director of that very Netflix documentary series. Read our review of the Netflix docu-series The Ted Bundy Tapes right here >

Zac Efron as Ted Bundy

No matter how you feel about Zac Efron, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile should be proof that he is so much more than a teen heartthrob. In his portrayal as Ted Bundy, he switches from being charming and endearing to giving us a look at a dark and sinister person.

To me, Zac Efron also manages to have a disturbingly impressive way of looking very much like Ted Bundy. Before watching Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, I honestly hadn’t considered the two to look anything alike.

And while we do also see the charming side of Ted Bundy, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile does not glorify the serial killer. Remember, the director of this feature film did also make the documentary which also showed the true nature of this sick individual. 

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile - Review - Netflix Movie about Ted Bundy

The impressive cast of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

While Zac Efron as Ted Bundy is horrifyingly impressive, the rest of the cast is equally potent. Especially Lily Collins as Liz Kendall. She’s the woman who managed to have a relationship with Ted Bundy and who never felt threatened by him. For some reason, she was sacred to him.

Lily Collins manages to perfectly portray the pain and guilt, Liz Kendall felt, after discovering the truth about her boyfriend, Ted Bundy. The entire storyline in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is told chronologically with their relationship at the heart of it all. It makes for a somewhat confusing start but is ultimately a huge strength!

Also part of the cast is Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner) who has one of the biggest supporting roles. So does Angela Sarafyan (Westworld) as the best friend of Liz Kendall.

In other smaller roles, we have the “I see dead people”-boy, who is now a grown man, Haley Joel Osment. Also, Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and John Malkovich, who was recently in the Netflix movies Bird Box  and Velvet Buzzsaw

Finally, Metallica leadsinger, James Hetfield, has a small role as a police officer. Director Joe Berlinger also made documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster from 2004, which probably explains this casting treat.

Watch Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile on Netflix now

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile originally premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2019. This was where Netflix was quick to nab the feature film which was perfect in line with having the Joe Berlinger docu-series as well.

Since then, the feature film has continued to play at film festivals and received great reviews. 

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is based on the book “The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy” which was written by Elizabeth Kendall. Yes, that’s the same person as Liz Kendall, who is portrayed by Lily Collins in this movie.

This is not a comfortable movie to watch. However, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is probably one of the most honest movies about Ted Bundy. We get to witness the charm and get to look past it when Zac Efron switches effortlessly between the two to show us the psychopath.

And that is what creates a fascinating movie which is very much worth watching for fans of serial killer movies.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is out on Netflix globally from May 3, 2019.


Director: Joe Berlinger
Stars: Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Kaya Scodelario, John Malkovich, Jim Parsons, Haley Joel Osment, Angela Sarafyan


A courtroom frenzy ensues and sweeps 1970s America when a young single mother reluctantly tips the attention of a widespread manhunt toward her longtime boyfriend, Ted Bundy.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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