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Parents' Guide to

Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violence, gore, language in serial killer crime drama.

Movie NR 2021 110 minutes
Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+
I only registered because the rating on this was completely off. It said only sexual account was a sex joke by the sorority house mother but there was a graphic sexualized scene with girls dressed in leather lingerie and sexually mounting and thrusting on Ted as he off screen masturbated and choked himself. There were also three different scenes of a couple nude magazines that did reveal bare buttock and bare breasted women in hard-core sexual acts. I usually can trust this site to be very accurate but this time was a fail.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman is yet another of the roughly two dozen documentaries and feature-length movies "based on true events" about the serial killer. Often shot like a horror movie, with jump scares and suspenseful music galore, the movie comes across as a cynical Hollywood attempt to sensationalize gruesome violence and exploit Bundy's incomprehensibly evil murders and the traumatic suffering endured by those who survived what Bundy did. While the movie does give equal time to the FBI agents who tracked Bundy down, and a "Where are they now?" montage at the end discusses the positive work those who caught or survived Bundy did in the years after the serial murders, disturbing sequences involving Bundy's fantasies and the suspense leading up to the attacks are much more likely to resonate, unfortunately.

It's not a bad movie from a technical standpoint. But it doesn't really contribute anything new to a story told too many times about a sociopath who doesn't deserve so much of "the Hollywood treatment," or any of it, really. What does it say about an industry that, for every documentary about, say, Gandhi, churns out roughly one billion documentaries about serial killers and fascist dictators? Are audiences really that evil-obsessed, or is this a cynical appeal to an innate fascination with people trying to make sense of ugly true-life evil? Do we better understand serial or mass murder, or is this merely lowest common denominator entertainment? It's past time to derive so much "entertainment value" from creeps like Bundy, and long past time to take the "anti" out of "anti-heroes."

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