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13th May 2019

Movie fans reckon new true crime flick Charlie Says looks better than Zac Efron’s Ted Bundy

Here's why.

Anna O'Rourke

Looking for something new to satisfy your true crime obsession?

Charlie Says is set to be the next serial killer movie that everyone’s talking about.

The film tells the stories of the women who became manipulated into killing for charismatic cult leader Charles Manson, played by Matt Smith.

Manson formed the Manson Family in California in the 1960s.

The cult was responsible for the murders of a number of people, including Hollywood actress Sharon Tate, in 1969.

Manson was convicted of murder and conspiracy to murder in 1971. He died in prison in 2017 at the age of 83.

Charlie Says, brought to us by American Psycho director Mary Harron, examines how he managed to indoctrinate his followers – and how difficult it was to reverse this after they were apprehended and imprisoned.

Here’s the official synopsis;

“Years after the shocking murders that made the name Charles Manson synonymous with pure evil, the three women who killed for him – Leslie Van Houten (Hannah Murray), Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon), and Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendón) – remain under the spell of the infamous cult leader (Matt Smith).

“Confined to an isolated cellblock in a California penitentiary, the trio seem destined to live out the rest of their lives under the delusion that their crimes were part of a cosmic plan – until empathetic graduate student Karlene Faith (Merritt Wever) is enlisted to rehabilitate them.”

Charlie Says has just been released in the US and reviews have so far been mixed.

There has been praise for Smith’s performance as the charming but ultimately deranged Manson but questions have been raised about the way the women in the film are portrayed.

The Guardian said that the film reduces their “full adult responsibility” for their gruesome crimes, which “infantilises them and actually makes them less interesting.”

On the other hand, Rolling Stone praises the director for “giving voices to women who sometimes don’t get heard, or have it drowned out by the din around them”.

Still, there’s enough buzz around the film that people are very excited to see it.

It’s being compared to the recently-released Ted Bundy biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile – though the concept of telling the story through Manson’s followers’ eyes has lots of people especially excited for Charlie Says.

We don’t yet have a release date for Charlie Says in this part of the world – fingers crossed that it’s soon.