Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, Netflix’s newly released Ted Bundy biopic starring Zac Efron, is grossly slick, par for the course for a man described by his own defense attorney as “the very definition of heartless evil.” It’s not an easy watch, so you can only imagine how difficult the film must have been to make. Just ask Lily Collins, who portrays Bundy’s longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall and claims to have been visited by the ghosts of the serial killer’s victims.
Over the course of four years, Ted Bundy murdered 30 women and girls, though the true number of victims may never be known. Kendall, who dated Bundy for a good portion of this time, initially refused to believe he could do such a thing and stood by his side for many of his early trials. In Extremely Wicked, her denial (and eventually acceptance) drives the narrative, and whether you like the movie or not, it’s safe to say Collins’ portrayal of Kendall is one of its highlights. But according to the actress, her performance may have received a little help from the great beyond.
In an interview with The Guardian, Collins revealed that the spirits of Bundy’s victims appeared to her in the middle of the night, giving their blessing to film:
“I discovered that 3am is the time when the veil between the realms is the thinnest and one can be visited. I didn’t feel scared – I felt supported. I felt like people were saying: “We’re here listening. We’re here to support. Thank you for telling the story.”
Admittedly, Extremely Wicked is less a horror movie than a courtroom drama, coasting on its performances rather than intricate or terrifying set pieces. Not a lot of attention is paid to the actual victims, and while it’s definitely for the best that these grisly real-life murders weren’t recreated or dramatized for a Netflix movie, Zac Efron’s turn as the character still manages to feel creepy, albeit grossly charismatic. If anything, the film doesn’t feel like the story of the victims (or their ghosts), but of a truly twisted monster trying to get away with it all.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile was released last week to polarizing reviews. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s available now on Netflix, in case you need a middle of the night distraction from any ghosts.