TED BUNDY: AMERICAN BOOGEYMAN (2021) Reviews and overview

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‘America’s most notorious serial killer’

Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman is a 2021 American horror-thriller film about the titular serial killer who murdered young women in the 1970s. Hunting Bundy is FBI agents Kathleen McChesney and Robert Ressler, organizers of the largest manhunt in history.

Written and directed by Daniel Ferrands (The Haunting of Sharon Tate; The Amityville MurdersThe Haunting in ConnecticutHalloween: The Curse of Michael Myers). Produced by Lucas Jarach.

The Green Light Pictures production stars Chad Michael Murray, Holland Roden, Lin Shaye, Jake Hays, Marietta Melrose and Diane Franklin.


“As in his other films, Farrands isn’t concerned about respecting the tragic loss of life in American Boogeyman. He’s transforming Bundy into a one-dimensional movie maniac, with death scenes embracing viciousness, detailing extended acts of bodily harm with slapdash production values, making the whole endeavor look cheap and useless, especially when the feature attempts to pay tribute to those who survived.” Blu-ray.com

“Farrands at least calms down on making wildly irresponsible insinuations for dramatic purposes, this time sticking somewhat closer to the facts as detective Kathleen McChesney and FBI agent Robert Ressler track Bundy’s cross-country killing spree between 1974 and 1978. Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman instead finds other ways to be bad, mostly through the poor structure of a basic procedural that barely intertwines with equally basic mythmaking about an entirely average movie monster.” Culture Crypt

“Farrands’ film is serviceable to a point: the point it’s clear the project is pure exploitation — somewhere around the pretentious, Dexter-stretching narration kicks in. American Boogeyman is interested only in depicting Bundy being Bundy, in essence becoming a greatest-kills reel of extraordinarily poor taste. It errs in not exploring its subject beyond a surface-level celebrity, perhaps wrongly assuming you have prior knowledge of his story.” Flick Attack

“The sorority massacre is made into a big production, and the misstep is in thinking it is some vital horror set-piece. The way this late-in-the-game sequence is structured is utterly tasteless, exploitative, and tension-free. I do not remember hearing about a detective bursting into the massacre to save the day… The one bright spot is Lin Shaye’s appearance as—of course—Ted Bundy’s mother, who seems delightfully unhinged and convinced Ted was “conceived in hell.” Josh at the Movies

” …short of injecting some dialogue referencing Bundy’s belief in himself as an almost mythical being unable to be seen and free to kill, there’s little that feels new or expert […] Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman is a schlocky true-crime thriller that turns real events into a slasher film and dehumanises everyone in the process. If there was ever a time to lay stories of Ted Bundy to rest, it’s now.” Jumpcut Online

“Murray does well enough with the material provided […] Despite Bundy’s actions throughout the film, Murray never feels especially menacing […] Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman has nothing new or profound to say about the prolific killer. The movie tries to shock through its graphic depiction of violence, but instead of pushing the envelope, American Boogeyman feels like reheated slasher leftovers.” MaddWolf

Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman actually has shades of the former Bill Lustig-directed video nasty Maniac about it. Not only because Bundy shares a room with mannequins in the latter half of the film (with a truly insane fantasy sequence filmed in that room which Farrands uses to show the audience inside the mind of his take on Bundy) but also in the way Chad Michael Murray plays to both sides of Bundy’s nature – at once innocent and sweet, yet terrifying and truly evil.” Nerdly

Release date:

In the USA, Fathom Events will release the film in select US theatres on August 16, 2021, followed by On-Demand and DVD releases via Dark Star Pictures on September 3, 2021.

In the UK, Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman will be released on Digital from 6th December via iTunes, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Sky.


Cast and characters:

Chad Michael Murray … Ted Bundy
Holland Roden … Kathleen McChesney
Lin Shaye … Mrs Bundy
Jake Hays … Robert Ressler
Marietta Melrose … Karen Chandler
Diane Franklin … Mrs Healy
Leslie Stratton … Margaret Bowman
Dashiell Connery … Bobby Kelske
Alexandra Scott … Lisa Levy
Olivia DeLaurentis … Carol DaRonch
Julianne Collins … Melissa Smith
Asante Jones … Doctor Fred Richmore
Emily Coupe … Female Figure
Jo Beth Locklear … Heather
Gianna Adams … Jill Johnson
McKenna Alvizo … Kathy Kleiner
Aly Rae Santos-Tanner … Kerri (as Aly Rae Tanner)

Technical details:

110 minutes


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