The release of the first trailer for the upcoming Ted Bundy thriller Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile left the internet divided, with some fans praising Zac Efron for his portrayal of the serial killer and some slamming the film for “romanticising” Bundy.
Now, the film’s director Joe Berlinger has addressed the criticism during an interview with Bustle.
“I think the idea of this particular story, making a movie about Bundy, equals glorification of him is a very naive and knee-jerk reaction,” Berlinger told the site.
“Because if you actually watch the movie, the last thing we’re doing is glorifying him. He gets his due at the end, but we’re portraying the experience of how one becomes a victim to that kind of psychopathic seduction.”
Berlinger is no stranger to the genre, having made several other true crime movies, and he recently directed Netflix‘s special The Ted Bundy Tapes, so the man knows what he’s talking about here.
He added that he reckons people shouldn’t slam the film until they’ve actually sat down to watch it.
“Look, there have been a lot of movies about Adolf Hitler and about the Holocaust, but if somebody were to have a new angle as a way of illuminating some aspect of the human condition or aspect of that particular story… I think telling filmmakers any subject matter is off limits is a very slippery slope that leads us to Trump declaring that the media is ‘fake news,'” he said.
“I think there should be no censoring of subject matter, if it’s done responsibly. And even if it’s done irresponsibly, people have the right to tell any story they want to tell.”