Totally Killer review: A self-aware and highly-entertaining slasher

In Totally Killer, Jamie travels back in time to 1987 to stop a serial killer who is going to return and murder her mother 35 years later. The movie is now streaming on Prime Video.


In North Vernon, 35 years ago, three 16-year-old girls were brutally murdered by a killer around Halloween. The killer stabbed each one of them 16 times to death.

The killer vanished and, to this day, remains infamous in the town and is known as the Sweet 16 Killer. Around Halloween, people still dress up as the Sweet 16 Killer.

It’s Halloween in 2023, and Jamie’s mother, Pam, is worried about sending her daughter alone. Jamie fails to understand her mother’s fears until they come true when the Sweet 16 Killer returns and claims Pam as the next victim.

Jamie refrains from letting the Sweet 16 Killer get away. The next time they meet, Jamie finds herself inside her best friend’s work-in-progress time machine, which sends her back to October 27, 1987, the night the Sweet 16 Killer began killing.

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Jamie has a chance to stop the Sweet 16 Killer from killing her mother or any of the killer’s victims. However, she will have to make her moves carefully, keeping the rules of time travel in mind and also the fact that she needs to find a way to come back home.


Kiernan Shipka, as Jamie, is the heart of Totally Killer. She manages to live up to the expectations of viewers as a lead character in a slasher.

Shipka effectively carries the rebellious nature of a teenager who is into rock and roll and quickly finds herself switching gears when her character lands in the 1980s, when times were different.

Shipka is required to face the offensive norms of the ’80s. In a way, even while playing a teenager, Shipka becomes a parent to the Gen X kids, and she doesn’t disappoint.

The cast playing the teenage characters in the 1980s sticks to the times and behavior from back then. Their characters are insensitive, rude, and dumb, as teenagers should be. The cast openly lives the time from back then, while the film has fun with it.


The creators of Totally Killer are aware of the audience they have and what has become redundant over the course of years when it comes to the slasher genre. Hence, the film doesn’t see characters repeat the same mistakes again and again.

The protagonist, the supporting characters, and the antagonist are written to be smart. The Sweet 16 Killer voluntarily leaves after getting the job done or if told that cops are coming. However, what matters is that the killer accomplishes the goals set.

Similarly, Totally Killer doesn’t rely on the same old rules when it comes to time travel either, which is a delight. It keeps the whole phenomenon mysterious and has viewers curious about what the world will look like after this ordeal.

The film is also sincere when it comes to pointing out the changing times and is able to create genuine laughs when a woke Jamie faces the wild ’80s, where there is racism, bullying, fat shaming, and whatnot.

Coming to the gore part, considering the kind of film that the creators are aiming for, which is neither too bloody nor too light, Totally Killer has well-balanced brutality that won’t disappoint the fans of horror and slashers.


For a while, time travel and the fact that it is possible in a slasher genre sounded ridiculous. The viewers will have to get comfortable with how the film is approaching the concept and mixing it with this genre.


Totally Killer is a highly entertaining drama that celebrates the genre of slasher. The film is a mix of many such films. It just comes with a little time travel sprinkled over it, which is kind of an ode to Back to the Future. Anyhow, the film manages to keep everything afloat, making it a fun watch.

Totally Killer
Totally Killer review: A self-aware and highly-entertaining slasher 1

Director: Nahnatchka Khan

Date Created: 2023-10-06 05:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Totally Killer summary and ending explained