Totally Killer (2023) emerges as a captivating horror-comedy masterpiece, helmed by the visionary director Nahnatchka Khan. The film was brought to life by ingenious writers David Matalon, Sasha Perl-Raver, and Jen D’Angelo, with a riveting screen story crafted by Matalon and Perl-Raver. The cast includes the talents of Kiernan Shipka, Olivia Holt, Julie Bowen, and Randall Park.
Totally Killer graced Amazon Prime Video screens on October 6, 2023. With a brisk 1 hour and 46 minutes run, this film promises an enthralling and unforgettable experience for its viewers.
From Prime Video, When the infamous “Sweet Sixteen Killer” returns 35 years after his first murder spree to claim another victim, 17-year-old Jamie (Kiernan Shipka) accidentally travels back to 1987, determined to stop the Killer before he can start.
KILLER FILM REVIEW.
We step into an inviting setting, serenaded by a soothing musical backdrop. “Do you want to hear a story? I must warn you, it is disturbing and took place right here in this peaceful town of Vernon…” Thus begins the account of three young girls who met a grim fate, each stabbed 16 times on their sixteenth birthdays. According to eyewitnesses, the assailants cloaked themselves in black attire and concealed their identities behind masks.
Jamie, a teenage girl who is having a hard time with her parents, heads off to meet with her friend Amelia. Despite her mother’s desire for Jamie to remain home and distribute Halloween treats together, Jamie firmly declines. Instead, she departs, accompanied by her father, who chauffeurs her to pick up Amelia.
In the quiet solitude of her home, Pam Hughes, Jamie’s mother, finds herself amid a captivating Halloween night. As she generously distributes candy to excited children, an unexpected knock echoes through the door, heralding the arrival of a masked stranger. This mysterious intruder assumes the chilling guise of the Sweet Sixteen Killer, barging uninvited into Pam’s house. A terrifying struggle ensues, with Pam courageously resisting the relentless assailant. Tragically, despite her valiant efforts, the intruder stabbed her 16 times and left her for dead.
As night descends, the evil specter of the Sweet Sixteen Killer appears, this time fixated on Jamie. In a heart-pounding confrontation, the Killer relentlessly pursues her, intent on ending her life. Yet, in a moment of desperation, Jamie manages to evade the clutches of her assailant. She was seeking refuge within the confines of a time machine made by Lauren for her school project.
In a desperate bid to eliminate her, the relentless Killer relentlessly thrusts his knife toward her. With lightning reflexes, Jamie dodges the fatal blow, causing the blade to pierce through the very heart of the time machine. In an inexplicable twist of destiny, Jamie is forcibly transported back to 1987, a realm untouched by the Sweet Sixteen Killer’s hostility and far removed from the horrors she has narrowly escaped.
With her presence confirmed, she is compelled to use her strength and wit to thwart the Killer’s first murder and subsequent deadly acts.
Totally Killer is an incredible cinematic experience that left me captivated. It defied my expectations, given the inherent challenge of blending horror and comedy, yet it navigates this delicate balance flawlessly.
The film boasts a cast that excels in their respective roles, but its true strength lies in the meticulously crafted characters. Every single character in this movie is a work of art. The likable ones are immensely endearing, while the despicable characters are detestable. There are only a few terrible characters here, with even the adult characters being well-developed and multidimensional.
Kiernan Shipka’s portrayal of the main character, Jamie Hughs, was exceptional. She skillfully embodies a teenager transported through time, desperately attempting to thwart a relentless killer. I particularly appreciated the connection between Jamie and her younger mother, portrayed by Olivia Holt. Despite their limited knowledge of 1987 and 2023, their bond added depth to the story. Holt’s portrayal of Jamie’s teenage mother was equally impressive, and, in keeping with the film’s theme, the adolescent versions of familiar characters, though often unlikable or annoying, are intentionally portrayed as such to reflect the quirks of the 1980s era.
The dialogue is an absolute riot, and the acting is equally laughable. Crafting a script of this caliber is no small feat, but the writers and director hit a home run. This film is an absolute delight, brimming with electric tension and laughter from the beginning.
Let’s remember the exceptional work of the cinematography team, the director’s masterful guidance, and the astounding talent of the makeup artists. The way the cinematography and director’s prowess elevate this film is commendable. The makeup artists and the musical score are equally praiseworthy, contributing to a movie that strikes a harmonious balance across all aspects.
This film finds the perfect balance between comedy and horror, a feat yet to be achieved. The humor lands precisely, and the suspense is nothing short of gripping. One genre seamlessly complements the other without overshadowing its counterpart.
The 2023 film ‘Totally Killer’ was a captivating cinematic experience. It blended the elements of a slasher genre with a unique time-travel twist, boasting commendable performances, an engaging antagonist, and moments of comedic brilliance. However, while it excelled in many areas, there were minor concerns about the time-travel concept.
The film’s recreation of the 1987 set was impeccably executed, immersing the audience in that era, even if some elements were mildly exaggerated for cinematic effect.
In essence, ‘Totally Killer’ checked all the boxes for me, delivering a genuinely amusing narrative with suspenseful sequences and a cast of endearing characters. It embodied the epitome of my cinematic preferences, making it an absolute delight to watch.
You can watch Totally Killer (2023) on Prime Video!
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