Dogs are notorious for being loving, loyal, and a person’s best friend, but what does it mean when a dog is hostile to you from the get-go? Well, that you’re a serial killer, duh. At least, that’s a true story about Ted Bundy that actually made it into Netflix’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil & Vile, which stars Zac Efron as the central murderer.
In a new clip from the New York Times, director Joe Berlinger narrates a scene where Efron’s Bundy and his girlfriend, Liz (Lily Collins), go to a shelter in search of for a pet. They run into Carol Ann (Kaya Scodelario), someone he worked with in the past, but the real star of this scene is the dog.
Yes, dogs are the stars of any scene they’re in, but what resonates here isn’t cuteness, but the visceral thrill in how Bundy’s steady eye contact causes the dog to completely lose it, barking and baring its teeth before whimpering away. It’s a fascinating shot that switches gears so fast, from the love-filled cuddling of he and Liz to something much, much darker.
Berlinger notes that the scene was born from Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me. Her dog loved everyone but “acted quite negatively” to Bundy, she wrote, and Berlinger wanted to use the moment to highlight how charisma impacts people much differently than animals. Studies have shown that dogs are capable of sensing an untrustworthy person, so know this for a fact: If your dog doesn’t lie someone, they are absolutely a serial killer.