Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman has released its first trailer, giving fans a look at Chad Michael Murray in a creepy serial killer role. In the new teaser, we get to see Murray delivering a terrifying performance as the depraved murderer, while actress Holland Roden (Escape Room 2) portrays Washington police officer Kathleen McChesney, who investigated Bundy's crimes. Horror film icon Lin Shaye also appears, playing Bundy's mother, and Greer Grammer (Awkward) is Cheryl Thomas, a Florida State University student who survived an attack by Bundy.
American Boogeyman focuses most specifically on the police investigations and manhunt for Bundy, who was eventually caught and prosecuted in the late '70s, for a number of murders. It is certainly a fascinating role to see Murray in, after years of him mostly playing more handsome heartthrob characters. Here, he still gets to do that, as Bundy was considered to be a dashing and charming man, while also reaching down into the depths of Bundy's chillingly sedate madness.
Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman is written and directed by Daniel Farrands. It will have a nationwide theaters release, via Fathom Events, on Aug. 16. That will be followed by a U.S. VOD/DVD release from Dark Star Pictures on Sept. 3.
Notably, the new film is from the producers of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, a 2019 film that starred Zac Effron as Bundy. That film was based on The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, a memoir by Bundy's former girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall. It depicted Bundy and Kendall's relationship, as well as the court case against the late serial killer.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile was written by Michael Werwie, and directed by Joe Berlinger, who is most recognizable from helming crime documentary films such as the Paradise Lost trilogy. Notably, Berlinger also created the Netflix docu-series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. Even before its release to the public, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile has been highly controversial. There are some who have accused the biographical film of glorifying Bundy.
One such accuser is Belva Kent, mother of Debra Jean Kent, a teen that Bundy murdered when she was just 17 years old. "Why keep rubbing our face in it all the time? It's very hard to deal with and when they keep bringing it up and putting it up," Kent said in a past interview. "It's very disgusting to me…It's kind of aggravating to me, but I just try to ignore it and move on."
"[It] can happen to anybody," Kent continued. "You just never know when you can be in that position. You just want to let people know that it's out there…No one's immune."