The Stranger Beside Me is the chilling story of author Ann Rule and her relationship with Ted Bundy, who unbeknownst to her, was a serial killer.
The Stranger Beside Me isn't just anyother scary movie based on a true story.The film is based on the first bestselling book by Ann Rule, who was unknowingly friends with Ted Bundy during his killing spree. The 2003 version might not be one of the best murder mysteries ever, nor does the filmfollow the actual murder victim's storylines.
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For instance, Ann Rule's account of what happened is obviouslyimagined when it comes to the scenes where Ted Bundy is alone with his victims. For those that are curious, there are a fewtrue crime documentaries on Huluthat talk about what really happened.
The Stranger Beside Me is based on a book by the same name. Ann Rule, the author of the book, once worked with Bundy at a call center in the 70s.
However, she didn't start writing the book until she started to piece together that it might be her friend Ted who was responsible for the killings. Even though she started writing the book during that time, the movie isn't filmed likea typical70s crime movie.
Before Ann Rule became famous, she used to write under the pen name "Andy Stack," but after The Stranger Beside Me became a bestseller, practically everything Ann Rule wrote was gold.
Throughout her career, she had five bestsellers, withTheStranger Beside Me beingthe first and most memorable. The best part is all35 books that werepublished were published under her real name.
The title of the book isn't one of the most misleading movie titles, but once you realize the story is about Rule's friendship with Ted Bundy, it really makes one think about how frightening it is to think that you could know someone, only to discoverthat they are the main suspect in a killing spree.
Not only did Rule s consider Ted a friend, but she also considered him to be misunderstood, whichis slightly problematic when considering the victims and their families.
Not only has Ann Rule discussed in great lengths how she met Ted Bundy while working in the same crisis call center together, but she has alsospoken about their shifts and how often they saw each other.
In fact, Ann Rule mentions that the very first thing Ted Bundy ever said to her was, "You think we can handle all this?" Rule's work goes on to humanize Ted Bundy, but it also stripes him of any credibility, which is seen in the film.
There are many details in the film which can be traced back or recognized as obvious reenactments. However, there are other times when it would have been impossible for Ann Rule to know what went on.
Some scenes, for instance, take place with Bundy and the victims, which Ann wouldn't have access to.Rule and the directors must have taken some creative libertiesfor dramatic effect.
The 2003 version of The Stranger Beside Me, starring Billy Campbell, was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award.
But there is a different film with the same title starring Tiffany Amber Thiessen, which came out in 1995 and didn't receive any nominations. Although they are not both horror movies, they are pretty decent psychological thrillers.
There are a few scenes that can be traced back to actual real-life footage. For example, much of the courtroom scenes where Ted Bundy defended himself is available to the public. However, in the film, Ted Bundy is far less unhinged as he was in real life.
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The film version of Ted seems like a jokester here, whereas the real-life Ted Bundy was a calculating, cold-blooded killer. Not only was Bundy more memorably bizarre in real life, the scene with the judge isn't as strong as the actual courtroom drama that unfolded.
Surprising to a lot of people is the fact that Ted Bundy was a father. During his trial, Ted Bundy managed to propose to Carole Boone, a woman who'd been fighting to clearhis name.
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During one of their conjugal visits, Tedgot Carole pregnant and she subsequently gave birth to a child named Rose. The movie doesn't detail any of the time Rose visited Ted in Jail or where she is now.
The book TheStranger Beside Me follows the friendship of Ann Rule with Ted Bundy. Still, the movie gives the viewer the impression that Ted Bundy was extremely interested in Ann Rule becoming a best-selling author.
Afew times in the film, Ted asks Ann about her book she's working on and mentions how Ann writes likeTruman Capote, afamous writer. Eventually, Ann Rule's book was made into a movie.
As mentioned above, before writing TheStranger Beside Me, Ann Rule was writing small pieces under the male pen name "Andy Stack."
Ann has been interviewed explaining that the reason she wrote under the name "Andy Stack" was that people weren't keen on publishing storieswritten by women. According to the film, Ted Bundy showed a great interest in those first stories,often complimenting Rule.
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Faizah Rajput is a writer from Los Angeles, California. She has her BA in writing from CSUSB and her MFA in writing from Otis College of Art & Design. When Faizah is not writing she is exploring various food stands around the city, in search of the world's greatest tacos.
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