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The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

New horror movie “Totally Killer” totally “kills” its audience with comedy

Photo courtesy of TotallyKiller Instagram
“Totally Killer” came out on Oct. 6, 2023, on Prime Video. It features Kiernan Shipka as the main lead in a comedy/horror movie.

“Totally Killer” is a movie that falls into a comfortable niche of common tropes perfect for a Saturday night, but also provides a fresh new take on the horror-comedy genre. The movie is a mix of “Back to the Future” and “Scream.”

This movie takes place on Halloween night in 2023 when teenager Jamie Hughes (Kiernan Shipka) is getting ready to go out with her friends. Her mother, Pam (Julie Bowen) is overprotective of her daughter but for a more terrible reason than normal. Thirty-five years before, in 1987, a serial killer called the Sweet Sixteen Killer slaughtered three high schoolers when Pam was a teenager, but were never caught. When Jamie accidentally time-travels to 1987, she realizes she has a chance to stop the murders and save innocent lives.

“Totally Killer” is a quirky and bizarre film that shows the 80s through a modern, yet nostalgic lens. The world is shown through Jamie’s viewpoint as she interacts with the hyper-neon, inappropriate jokes that would ‘cancel’ anyone in 2023 and teenagers with no sense of danger.

When Jamie reaches the past, to her surprise, she finds out that not only was her mother best friends with all the murder victims, but she was the mean girl’s ringleader at her school.
Jamie ironically takes on the role of mothering teenage Pam and her clique of teenage friends as she desperately tries to warn and protect them from the serial killer hunting them. Meanwhile, they do their best to ignore her and try to get as intoxicated as possible. Teenage Pam, played by Olivia Holt, balances the line between the casual cruelty and comedy required for her character.

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The horror in this movie takes a back seat as the comedy and time travel are more prominent throughout. The secondary plot in the movie follows Amelia (Kelcey Mawema), Jamie’s best friend, as she races to find out what ripples Jamie made in the past affected the future, as well as trying to bring Jamie back to the present. The time travel aspect is a well-done and interesting part of the movie but it is a little confusing and convoluted.

The movie, although predictable and falling along classic movie tropes, still manages to bring twists and turns that lead to shocking plot twists. The characters in the movie are dynamic and entertaining, all due to the actors doing a wonderful job bringing their enthusiasm and life to the screen.

Although all the actors did a great job bringing their characters to life, it was Kiernan Shipka who stars in this movie. She proves herself to be one of the best actresses of her generation through her portrayal of the highly emotional, yet cynical teenager. She hits the comedic and dramatic moments of the movie on point, where her talent shines.

“Totally Killer” is a movie perfect for kicking back on a chilly October night, with a huge bag of popcorn and a large blanket. It balances slasher tropes with time travel adventure and manages to be a great film with fun moments and entertainment.


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About the Contributor
Olga Engler, Photo Manager
Olga Engler is a junior and is the Photo Manager for the 2023-2024 school year. She enjoys listening to music, drawing, and hanging out with her friends.

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