Totally Killer is a horror comedy film directed by Nahnatchka Khan, releasing via Amazon Prime in 2023. The story follows Jamie (Kiernan Shipka) who travels back in time to 1987. Once there, she pairs up with her mother to catch the sweet 16 killer during their original spree and return to her timeline before she is trapped in the past forever.
In a small American town, three teenage girl are killed by the Sweet 16 Killer, each having been stabbed 16 times on the nights of their 16th birthdays.
In the present day, teenager Jamie goes to a concert with her friend Amelia on Halloween night while her mother, Pam, stays at home. Pam used to be friends with the three victims of the Sweet 16 Killer, and is attacked by the killer, who stabs her to death. As Jamie grieves Pam’s death, she helps Amelia put the finishing touches on a time machine she created for a school project. Additionally, Jamie is approached by reporter Chris Dubasage, who tells her that Pam received a note from the killer that she kept secret: “You’re next, one day.”
At night, Jamie is chased by the killer and hides in the time machine, which activates and sends her back to 1987. She realizes that if she stops the Sweet 16 Killer’s original spree, she can save Pam’s life. However, she’s about to discover that her mother may not have been exactly who she thought she was. Also, that changing events of the past will have ramifications on the future.
Totally Killer is a movie that you can have a lot of fun with, if you leave your brain at the door. I can’t really fault it for being silly fun when that is exactly its intention. Admittedly, there are a lot of elements to enjoy. Firstly, I didn’t dislike every character which is impressive for a modern movie. As it’s a modern film there’s the expected social commentary, especially because it deals with the past and “changing times”. Nothing it really says is untrue and it is sort of interesting to see the contrast between the times.
I wouldn’t say Totally Killer is laugh out loud hilarious but it had me chucking on a few occasions, the tone is good on the whole. The acting is surprisingly strong and hits some impressive serious notes when it feels appropriate.
I really liked that while this movie is obviously a huge mishmash of time travel and slasher movie tropes, it isn’t afraid of referencing this idea and certainly doesn’t shy away from any of it. Unfortunately, the characters are a weak aspect of Totally Killer. The 80s characters in particular are cliché as hell for a slasher film which doesn’t make much sense when they’re supposed to be real people. I mean, their actions do lead to some comedic moments that are fun I guess.
The gore is decent but there could have been much more. Also, the entire mystery surrounding the killer felt really anti-climactic to me. I just feel that there were far more interesting possibilities and it went with the most mundane outcome.
Overall, Totally Killer is fun. If you enjoyed Happy Death Day then this is definitely something you should check out.
The Final Score - 6.5/10