This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.
BY ELLIOT LINES OCTOBER 10, 2023
October film season is the time for the horror genre to thrive, and throughout the month there will always be a large amount of releases, some that come and go and some that stand out above the rest. Totally Killer may not stand long in the memory, but this slasher incorporates ideas from some of the biggest movies to create a fun and easy watch.
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 in time to 1987, determined to stop the killer before he can start.
What can only be described as a Scream, Halloween, Back to the Future concoction. In your mind this may not work, but surprising Totally Killer manages to deliver something that feels cohesive and interesting. The film is self aware of what it is trying to do, constantly referencing the films that it has clear inspiration from, almost becoming a parody in itself.
Most obviously, the Back to the Future ideas come from the time travel element, even so much so that the characters themselves reference how time travel works in the aforementioned film. The killer itself has an extremely Michael Myers feel but with a goofy twist due to the mask being so obnoxious. Then like any of the Scream films we have a young adult trying to work out who the killer is that has terrorised these characters.
When it comes to the time difference, Jaime jumping from the present day to the 80's, the film uses it to blend some comedy into the narrative. Jaime must navigate around in a time 40 years ago, much different to the world now.
A twist reveal is usually expected, and you could say this does have a twist. Unfortunately the reveal isn't as surprising as you'd like, making this fairly predictable. The killers motives could've and maybe needed to be fleshed out a little more to make the end that ever so more satisfying.
Totally Killer doesn't do anything ground-breaking but it's mixture of slasher, comedy and sci-fi tropes make this a fun watch with clear inspiration from horror/sci-fi films that came before it.