Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman (2021)

Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman (2021)

2021 110 Minutes

Thriller | Crime

Set in a gritty and decadent 1970s America, American Boogeyman follows the elusive and charming killer and the manhunt that brought him to justice involving the detective and the FBI rookie who coi...

Overall Rating

1 / 10
Verdict: Awful

User Review

  • d_riptide


    1 / 10
    I guess beating the piss out of famous horror victims and tarnishing their credibility as plot devices wasn’t enough for Daniel Farrands to squeeze out some brownie points. So now he’s back and he wants to try and do that again…..but this time with the actual serial killers, starting off with the overdone Ted Bundy in American Boogeyman.

    Outside of being another queasy example of feeding into the whole ‘Ted Bundy is hot’ glorification allure for what has to be the one millionth time, this is only ONE of TWO movies he plans to release this year….and this one continues to set the bar down as low as it can go. It is structured exactly as I expected: exploitative, tasteless, tension-free and infuriatingly silly.

    As expected, Lin Shaye is the only remarkable bright spot in a film with this much presence and magnitude cramped into one scene and then eradicated for the rest of the runtime. Chad Michael Murrey comes off as a laughable pretender stuck in imposter syndrome, Holland Rodan is overacting to no avail, Jake Hays is sleepwalking through this and the rest of the co-stars simply cannot deliver.

    Nobody really stands out as a character or even as a conventional plot device for that matter; everyone comes off like a disposable hunk of plastic. Hell, Bundy doesn’t even feel like Bundy for about half of this movie; he’s fucking Michael Myers at the end. Nobody learns anything, they go through no progression and nobody comes out looking anything less than a babbling fool.

    Set design and costumes continue to contradict the time period of what the movie is supposed to take place in. Outside of the 70’s mustache Murray has to wear, everything from the makeup, geographical settings, electronics and vehicles give off a modernized, sleek, clean appeal that does not reflect the geographical setting we’re supposed to believe this occur.

    Part of me is actually surprised to not see so many lazily reused shots or just have the entire thing butchered on the cutting room floor but it doesn’t make the amateur cinematography any less nauseating. Incredible cheap, sloppy camerawork, using the hallmark Lifetime movie aesthetic, I’m not gonna bother repeating myself again.

    If it wasn’t for the multiple repeated instances of coarse language, inoperative dialogue and a single adult-themed scene, I wouldn’t even classify this as worthy of being shown in THEATERS. Remember that now: this was actually shown in theaters for better half of two weeks.

    There is no story of any kind highlighted or roped into here and the lack of direction makes the already aforementioned plodded pacing that much more egregious. When I say all you’re gonna get here is Ted Bundy staring, peering, creeping and propping around with mannequins while two hopelessly inferior cops endlessly dick around, that is as specific as I can get. It’s just a hodgepodge of random scene after random scene masquerading itself around the "theme" of Bundy and the chase; just the same ol’ off the rails, stretch of the imagination aggravating bullshit Daniel sprinkled across his other projects. Practically spitting into the open mouth of the victims families AGAIN, it does nothing but mislead people on who Bundy really was and the scenarios it creates are the most condensed, highly implausible, inaccurate situations that lead to the cheesiest of thrills and inconsequential of horror scares.

    Seriously, I get it: crafting a convincing scare scene is a tricky paradigm to concoct but would it kill you to at least TRY? You actually did better at getting me to laugh in the most regrettable manner possible, having Ted beat an already dead victim while others are sleeping in a move that would’ve been absolute slapstick ANYWHERE ELSE.

    Even with a clear as day disclaimer on being dramatized, the writing was just a dumbfounding, mind-bendingly loathsome betrayal that continues his trend on painting extremes, alienating the truth of the story at play. How a writer can ETHICALLY deviate from what actually happened and than insert news footage to give the ILLUSION of credibility and get away with it is beyond my comprehension; it makes less sense than a ventilated condom and it’s fucking maddening!

    I-I can’t bring it upon myself to bloody keep talking about this.

    Projects like this are simply the worst kind of voyeurism and it’s everything I’ve hated about Daniel Farrands’ narrative films: not giving a shit about anyone or anything related to the tragedy beyond what it can sensationalize for the prospect of a quick buck or a cheap headline. However, while his previous two narrative films were terribly written to the point of implosion, this films biggest sin is that it’s just flat out boring and it gets boring FAST.

    Sure, it’s technically better than Music if you really want to play that game and it is the least worst of his repertoire compared to Haunting of Lizzie McGuire and MONBS but that is a pathetically short margin you had to cross if you’re making me say that and considering Daniel has ANOTHER one of these coming out in only a few weeks, it’s not a matter of if he’ll dethrone it…..but WHEN.