I need a moment was one of the first things that came to my mind as I left the theatre.
He did do it. "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" is based on the real life events of Ted Bundy. He did it, the movie may throw some, tiny bit of doubt your way 'Did he? Was it just a misunderstanding?' etc. but there is no red herring, there is no one else that it could maybe be, nothing. Plus, you are more in the mind of the female lead, Liz (Lily Collins), and she doubts herself (a lot) so it would make sense that you may yourself too. But, he did do it and keeping this in mind can make the movie more enjoyable. You can pick up on hints that he is guilty and how manipulative the character can be. There is a scene early on where Ted (Zac Efron) and Liv are in a diner, talking about the accusations against him. To me, he kept looking (when her face was turned) to make sure that she was falling for what he was telling her. This was a good touch and did give away the ending which we already knew about.
The film was well acted with Lily Collins and Zac Efron (of course) giving very good performances and the supporting casts being a pleasure to see on screen (like Haley Joel Osment). They were human. But the thing that stood out to me the most is how the film doesn't really dumb down much and the subtle of certain moments. The moment mentioned in the dine was not that subtle compared to another moment at the very beginning. The first scene is Liv seeing Ted in prison. We see her look tried (a solid showing without telling us how tried she is) but only at the end of the film do we actually know what kind of tried it is.
Another thing that stood out was the use of camera focus (I know it may sound strange but stay with me). There is a scene where we meet Carole (Kaya Scodelario) who "bumps" into Ted and Liv. While she is walking away Ted and Liv are standing, facing which other and talking. They are on either side of the frame with Carole further down in the distance down the corridor. She is out of focus and the camera does not pull to her but you notice her since she stopped walking and is looking at them in her blurry figure. It is kind of a type of foreshadowing if you overthink it.
The simple shot that was done well was when Liv is reading the book that Ted kept going on about. The foreground (with the book) and background were out of focus while she was in focus. I think this shot because the camera does not pull focus to clearly show the title of the book because there is not need to do so. We can see it in it blurry clearness.
What I really appreciate was the flashback (within the flashback-since the whole film is a flashback). The choices made for them has a touch of difference to them then the usual way flashback are done (for what I have seen). You see a lot of moves just use footage that we have already saw and that makes up the flashback. However, this movie was slightly different in that they did use footage that we have seen before (Ted and Liv in a fun, romantic moment) BUT there were shots in the flashback (one was a point of view) that we did not see before. I wish more films did this, add in something new to the flashbacks (or just film a complete new flashback using zero footage from the film, a way of showing us that there was a life before the film started-maybe this may be too confusing, but lets see).
They also used real life footage from the trial and interviews which is interesting to compare Efron's acting to the real person that this movie is based on. Watching that footage is more eerie now but Efron did okay when you compare but he was better in the scenes when you couldn't compare. Anyway this found footage roots the film a lot more in reality as was the point but I felt like pretending to be smart.
Plus, the sound design was also well done with the slight echo when they speak through the prison phones. That was a nice touch.
This film had some really simple and good ideas that are a step in a subtle direction but can be fun to pick up on when you compare to how something was done before in films. Performances were good, choices were good, did not really get into the mind of Ted (with they he did what he did)- that adds to the horror. But we do get to understand Liv and feel the terror from her at the end when she finds out that he did do it by answering a certain question in a certain way. Worth checking out but if it wasn't for the little parts I mentioned if I would be going back to it. It is eerie when I think back to it so that a scary 'plus' to it.