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“Totally Killer” is a time-travel horror hit

(Photo courtesy of: House Beautiful) “Kiernan Shipka and Olivia Holt star in Blumhouse’s ‘Totally Killer.'”

Riley Fontana
Connector Editor

Blumhouse’s most recent release, “Totally Killer,” premiered in limited theaters and on Amazon Prime on Oct. 6. Starring Kiernan Shipka and Olivia Holt, the horror comedy movie meets almost every mark it has aimed to hit.

The film follows Shipka as high school junior, Jamie, who is dealing with the 35th anniversary of the infamous murders in her town. In 1987, the serial killer known as the Sweet 16 Killer had murdered three girls—the most popular girls in their school at the time. In the present, he is back with vengeance to finish what he started, and that starts with the friend of his victims, Jamie’s mom, Pam. After hearing about her mother’s death, Jamie travels back in time to 1987 with the help of her best friend to stop the Sweet 16 Killer before he starts his killing spree.

The entire movie is filled with perfectly timed jokes about how different 2023 is compared to the late ’80s. “Totally Killer” is not a movie that takes itself seriously in any form. This movie completely mocks both the horror genre and the nostalgia that ’80s films hold for so many people. The mockery does not take away from the fact this is a heart-touching story at its core. This movie is a story about a daughter struggling with death and the relationship she had with her mother.

Jamie struggles throughout the entire film as she learns what her mom was like during high school, and why her mom and her mom’s friends were targeted by a serial killer. Jamie grows closer to the teenage version of her mom—played by Holt—than she ever was with her mom in the modern timeline version. As Jamie deals with protecting her mom and her mom’s best friends, Jamie is also quickly changing the timeline and her modern life. The timeline and its changes are being tracked through a cellphone and by Jamie’s best friend’s mom, who’s writing down all the changes.

Once Jamie arrives back in 2023, she is left to deal with everything she changed while saving her mom. This is the only place where Blumhouse drops the ball. Jamie is handed a notebook filled with all the timeline changes she caused. The introduction of all this lore right before the credits roll will serve the studio well if this movie gets a sequel. There are many movies that deserve to have a sequel, but they never get one, which leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many viewers. With no sequel set in stone, it is yet to be determined if the ending of “Totally Killer” will serve its full potential. The movie ends just fine the way it is, but the ending leaves fans wanting to see more of the fallout after watching Jamie fight for her mom’s life.

“Totally Killer” is one of the best horror comedy films to come out in recent years. It walks the line perfectly, as it leans a little more towards comedy, but leaves enough blood and slashing to keep any horror fan entertained. With a talented cast and stunning writing, there is something for everyone within this sure-to-be cult classic film.

Overall grade: A

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