‘Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman’ Misses the Mark

Ulises Duenas

 

I’m starting to think there’s a government mandate that says there have to be at least two Ted Bundy movies every year. At this point, if a Ted Bundy movie is attempted by a studio, they better make sure it’s a good one to stand up to the monolith of competition out there. Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman is not one of those movies.

 

Tone is important in a movie like this and the first few scenes make it hard to determine what kind of tone the director was shooting for. At first, it seems like a serious look at Bundy’s crimes, but the music and writing feel like they’re from an old VHS slasher flick. The whole soundtrack feels very ‘80s, which is odd considering the movie takes place in the 1970s.

 

One of the first scenes sees the main character, Kathleen McChesney, dealing with some sexist cops and superiors in a way that feels right given the subject matter. I know the movie takes place decades ago, but the interactions between McChesney and her fellow officers seem more appropriate for a high school class than a law enforcement setting. There’s even a part where she chastises a sexist cop and the room goes “oooooo” like it’s a kid’s show.

 

 

The writing in general appears quite clumsy. Exposition is constantly delivered via convenient news broadcasts that the characters just so happen to be watching at the right time. There’s a scene where McChesney and her partner come up with the term “serial killer” that feels forced.

 

Neither of the leads (Holland Roden and Chad Michael Murray) deliver great performances, but as the movie goes on, it’s more apparent that the problem is the script and not the actors. The writing just isn’t there to support a movie like this, especially when the tone isn’t consistent. There are so many aspects that are ripped from the kind of old-school slashers you’d rent from the video store. The cinematography is interesting at times, but it doesn’t make up for the rest.

 

It’s hard to tell whom this movie is for. Viewers who are into dramatizations of serial killers have plenty of options to choose from, and fans of old slasher flicks already have backlogs of movies to watch. The writing, performances and lack of suspense make for a forgettable experience. It’s not scary or funny or even interesting enough to recommend.

 

 

Author Bio:

Ulises Duenas is a contributing writer at Highbrow Magazine.

 

For Highbrow Magazine

 

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