“Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeywoman” Movie Review

Story posted January 30, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Caelan Chevrier

Warning: This review references mature content from the movie.

Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeywoman is a waste of time.

The Daniel Farrands' directed movie takes a glimpse into the early life of Aileen Wuornos, one of the most notorious female serial killers in United States history. There was plenty of potential to be had with this concept, but the film squanders nearly all of it by being so utterly drab and boring.

Peyton List stars as the murderer Aileen, leaving yet another Disney star who plays a deranged sociopath. The film follows Aileen at age 20 when she meets the commodore of a local wealthy yacht club in Florida. This man, Lewis Fell, happens to be played by Tobin Bell who ironically is most famous for his role as the Jigsaw Killer throughout the Saw franchise.

They quickly fall and love and get married within two weeks of being introduced to each other. This raises suspicions from Fell’s close friends and daughter as no one truly knows anything about this mysterious woman.

The result of this setup is beyond bland. The movie hardly examines the relationship between the couple and instead focuses on whatever mischief Aileen gets herself into. The movie acknowledges the murders that took place in the late 90s but hardly touches upon them even though they are by far the most significant part of the real Aileen Wuornos’ story.

The movie is so full of sexual violence and abuse to a point where it is no longer distressing or even interesting when these scenes occur. Even the incest-murder scene falls flat, as abnormal as it is to comprehend. Almost no character in the movie is likable so any tension that is supposed to be felt is almost immediately dismissed.

The film also does not do a great job encapsulating the setting. Late 70s southern Florida should have some sort of aesthetic to it, but the buildings and clothing used on set look like the present day. It feels like this movie could have been taken anywhere anytime in the last 50 years, it is indistinguishable from anything else.

Bell’s performance is easily the best, but that is not much to say when everyone else falls flat. No one else is believable when acting, especially Peyton List who doesn’t know what accent she is trying to go for. A fourth of the entire cast list is made of the producers of the film, and clearly, they did not go seeking any talent.

Visually, the movie is a nightmare. There are countless awkward shots, and scenes that seem to go on for too long. On the first beach shot, there is a shot of fireworks that goes on for 30 seconds without any other audio, it looks like horribly rendered stock footage. The VFX were atrocious too with one scene as Aileen drives down a road during a lightning storm looking entirely animated.

Truly, the only positive thing from the film is the light that it sheds on the true story of Aileen Wuornos. The information that one can gather from the internet is exponentially more fascinating and important than this film.

Learning that a majority of this movie was mostly fictional as well was also a big blow. It makes the movie even more pointless than it was, to begin with. Any attempt at entertainment is almost non-existent leaving this film being once again a giant waste of time.

Overall, Aileen Wuornos: American Boogeywoman is not in any sense, enjoyable, interesting, or ever so thought-provoking. Do not check it out, it has nothing to say and was most likely a cash-grab off of Peyton List’s likability. Boring.

Rating: 1/5


Caelan Chevrier is a second-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email cjc6789@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

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Caelan Chevrier

Third Year / Marketing & Journalism

Caelan Chevrier is a third-year student in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University studying marketing and broadcast journalism with the goal of graduating with a bachelor’s degree in four years. His career goal is to spread informative, meaningful, and entertaining content across various platforms and to be a positive impact on the community. He has also spent time working at WWE in the communications department and writing for The Westport Local Press in his hometown of Westport, CT. If you’d like to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).