SYNOPSIS: When the infamous "Sweet Sixteen Killer" returns 35 years after his first murder spree to claim another victim, 17-year-old Jamie accidentally travels back in time to 1987, determined to stop the killer before he can start.


Totally Killer is crafted in the same vein as Freaky and Happy Death Day, all silly slasher comedies that never take themselves as seriously as Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer. This latest Blumhouse production throws in a Back to the Future twist to all the mayhem without sacrificing the gore and fun.

Teenager Jamie Hughes (Kiernan Shipka) is conveniently transported back to 1987 in her friend’s makeshift time machine in order to stop a serial killer dubbed the sweet 16 killer from carrying out his first murder. But first, she needs to convince her not-so-nice mother (Olivia Holt), and her group of snotty friends of the impending killer spree before they end up being murdered.

As if to cover up their incompetency in creating a believable time-travelling flick, the movie spends lots of its time laughing and making fun of altered timeline and such. Of course, Totally Killer is not specifically a sci-fi flick as the filmmakers believe audiences are here for the slasher gags and comedy instead. That said, the movie did churned out some amusing shenanigans one after another courtesy of mother’s dumb-witted friends including Jamie’s future father and her future sports teacher.

Because it’s set in late 1980s where Bananarama and New Order are still hot on radio, there are funny jabs at racism, sexist, homophobia, weed and the amazingly lack of scrutiny and security. Those who are old enough will relate to some of the situations although Gen-Z liked Jamie will find this unbelievable so. The screenwriters even incorporate a meaningful message about loving your parents, we guess the message applies across generations and era.

While Totally Killer certainly pays homage to the 90’s slasher movies, much of the energy is confined to a few bloody kills. Thus the lack of pure thrill, suspense and low stake might be a turnoff for some who are looking for genuine scares. Still, this early Halloween offering is solid goofy fun. As the leading actress, Kiernan Shipka who stars in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is an absolute hoot. Julie Bowen from Modern Family gets to be a scream queen aka adult Pam and Liana Liberato from Scream VI has a small role as Tiffany, one of Pam’s sex-starved friends.


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Thriller/Comedy
Kiernan Shipka, Olivia Holt, Julie Bowen, Charlie Gillespie, Liana Liberato, Lochlyn Munro, Randall Park
Director: Nahnatchka Khan
Rating: NC16
Year Made: 2023



Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins