“Totally Killer” is a genre-bending romp that seamlessly blends the spookiness of “Halloween” with the time-travel antics of “Back to the Future.” Directed by Nahnatchka Khan, known for hits like “Always Be My Maybe” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” this film offers a fresh and cheeky take on the horror-comedy genre, and it’s a rollercoaster of fun from start to finish.
At its heart, “Totally Killer” is a fish-out-of-water comedy with a dash of time-travel sci-fi that actually makes sense – a rarity in the genre. While the horror element isn’t the strongest suit of the film, its engaging narrative and zippy one-liners keep you entertained throughout.
Much of the film’s charm comes from the captivating Kiernan Shipka, whose natural talent for witty dialogue and dramatic prowess shines throughout. She effortlessly transitions from a surly teen to a grief-stricken daughter and then to an intrepid investigator, showcasing her versatility as an actress.
The story revolves around Jamie Hughes (Kiernan Shipka), who, on Halloween night in 2023, accidentally finds herself transported back to 1987. She soon realizes that she can prevent a series of murders that haunted her small town for 35 years. However, her attempts to warn people, including the town’s bumbling sheriff (played by Randall Park), are met with skepticism and culture shock moments, adding depth to the narrative.
“Totally Killer” masterfully captures the essence of the ’80s, from its casual misogyny to its heavy smoking culture. It doesn’t rely on clichés but rather provides specific observations that elevate the film beyond mere nostalgia. The soundtrack, featuring songs like Bananarama’s “Venus” and Echo and the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon,” adds an authentic touch to the era.
As Jamie tries to change the past, she must navigate the complexities of high school friendships and confront the teenage version of her mother, played brilliantly by Olivia Holt. This leads to some hilarious and heartwarming moments as Jamie struggles to convince her peers of the impending danger.
“Totally Killer” takes some inspired storytelling choices, including flashbacks to the future (pun intended) and a critical examination of small-town life and the allure of peaking in high school. Shipka’s deadpan humor cuts through the rose-tinted glasses often associated with the ’80s, revealing that the past wasn’t as simple or superior as we may remember.
While the film’s slasher scenes lack finesse and sophistication, the identity of the murderer takes a back seat to the resourceful final girl, played by Shipka, who emerges as the true hero of the story.
In conclusion, “Totally Killer” is a delightful and quirky blend of horror, comedy, and time-travel that offers a fresh take on familiar genres. With its engaging cast, witty dialogue, and clever storytelling, it’s a must-watch for anyone looking for a fun and entertaining movie. You can catch it on Prime Video now. Don’t miss out on this thrilling ride through time and horror!