Review: ‘Totally Killer’ slashes through time on Amazon Prime Video

By Farah Bassyouni Oct 23, 2023

At the end of last month, Amazon Prime Video dropped the new slasher “Totally Killer” starring Kiernan Shipka, Olivia Holt and Julie Bowen. 

The Movie follows 17-year old Jamie (Shipka) as she travels back in time to 1987 to stop a serial killer who targeted her mother’s friends in an effort to prevent the killer from returning 35 years later and adding her mother (Bowen) to his list of victims. 

Back in 1987, Jamie enlists the help of the teenage version of her best friend’s mom, Lauren (Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson), as well as the teenage version of her own mother (Holt), all while trying not to change the course of the future, a.k.a. her parent’s relationship and her subsequent existence, too drastically. 

1. The Setting

The movie’s cheesy 80’s backdrop lends itself perfectly to the campy nature of the story. The house party and cabin-in-the-woods sets are perfectly predictable setups for trouble, and the movies’ shining-star setting of a run down amusement park helps seamlessly tie together events from both timelines.

2. The Story

When I first went into this movie, I wasn’t sure how well it would handle the tricky time travel plotline. However, “Totally Killer” handles time travel with caution and thorough attention to detail. The movie uses carefully placed dialogue and set pieces to show how every change Jamie makes in the past affects the present/future. In addition, the movie does a great job of using the parallels between Jamie’s relationship with her mother and her mother’s relationship to her own mother as a way to bring the characters closer. 

3. The Kills

As with any good slasher, the kills in “Totally Killer” do not disappoint. Some of the 1987 kills get a little redundant considering the movie’s “Sweet 16” killer always stabs his victims 16 times, however the kills that are new to the timeline because of Jamie’s presence are perfectly gruesome, especially the final kill that sees the “Sweet 16” explode like a firework after being kicked into a high-speed, altered-gravity ride called the Quantum Drop. 

While some of the logistics get a bit fuzzy sometimes, “Totally Killer” is an exciting, comedic modern day slasher that any horror fan will love.

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