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From+left%2C+Olivia+Holt+as+Teen+Pam%2C+Charlie+Gillespie+as+Teen+Blake%2C+Kiernan+Shipka+as+Jamie+Hughes%2C+Stephi+Chin-Salvo+as+Marisa+Margolis+and+Jeremy+Monn-Djasngar+as+Teen+Randy+Finkle+in+Totally+Killer.++Photo+permission+by+James+Dittiger%2FTNS.
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From left, Olivia Holt as Teen Pam, Charlie Gillespie as Teen Blake, Kiernan Shipka as Jamie Hughes, Stephi Chin-Salvo as Marisa Margolis and Jeremy Monn-Djasngar as Teen Randy Finkle in “Totally Killer.” Photo permission by James Dittiger/TNS.

[Review] Amazon Prime’s new movie ‘Totally Killer’ travels through time to escape serial killers

The new Amazon Prime slasher film “Totally Killer” left viewers on the edge of their seats by being a mix of “Back to the Future” and “Scream.” The movie was released on Sept. 28, 2023 and was the first ever slasher movie to include time travel and dark comedy all in one setting. The movie has already earned over $160 million, with a score of 87% on Rotten Tomato.

The film is directed by Nahnatchka Khan, an American television writer and producer who is best known for directing the popular TV show “Fresh Off the Boat” and the movie “Always Be My Maybe.” The cast also included a few big names, such as Kieran Shipka, who plays Jamie Hughes, Olivia Holt, who plays teenage Pam Hughes and Julie Bowen, who plays adult Pam Hughes.

“Totally Killer” follows teenage Pam, who is left heartbroken after her mother is murdered by the “Sweet Sixteen Killer,” an infamous serial killer who murdered three young girls by stabbing them sixteen times using a hunting knife back in 1987. Jamie is left to question who killed her mother and why they killed her.

Jamie is determined to find the killer, but this leads her to be the next target of the “Sweet Sixteen Killer.” Luckily, her best friend Amelia, played by Kelcey Mawema, built a time machine for their school science fair project, which helped Jamie escape the killer. As Hughes runs desperately through their city’s abandoned carnival, dodging numerous attempts on her life, she finally reaches the photo booth-turned-time machine that takes her back to 1987. Hughes is left with one ultimate goal: to prevent the murders from ever happening.

“Totally Killer” was produced by Blumhouse Production, a popular horror production company. Blumhouse is well known for their dark horror movies “Get Out,” “Us” and “The Exorcist” series.

During an interview with Rolling Stone, Khan shared how her love of horror movies and comedy led her to direct “Totally Killer.” She described how “Always Be My Maybe” provided her with the opportunity to meet with Jason Blum, the CEO of Blumhouse Production.

The film was a breath of fresh air compared to most time-travel movies, where viewers are often left with questions of how and why certain actions that the main character takes are allowed. For example, in “Totally Killer,” any kind of involvement in past events will alter the present day directly, meaning that changes will occur simultaneously across different time periods.

The movie uses the Mandela effect, a conspiracy theory that says that memories and facts are altered as Jaime tries to find the “Sweet Sixteen Killer.” Viewers see how her actions in 1987 affect Amelia in 2023 as she rebuilds her time machine, trying to bring Jamie back after the first one broke when she escaped the killer.

Towards the end of the movie, viewers also see a not-so-perfect wrap-up for the main character. Jamie returns home after preventing the murder of her mom and discovering who the “Sweet Sixteen Killer” was. She walks into her house to be greeted by her parents, a new 34-year-old brother named Jaime and a new name, Colette. These events are the aftershock of her time-traveling experience, which was an interesting turn of events.

Shipka delivers an astounding performance, mastering her character’s witty banter and determination. She has dabbled in several teen gothic roles, such as “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” “Flowers in the Attic” and “The Blackcoat’s Daughter.” Since 2007, Shipka has successfully booked a wide range of roles, showcasing her natural talent for acting.

Alongside Shipka, former Disney actress Olivia Holt captures the 80s version of Regina George with her sassy remarks and mean persona. But as the movie progresses, the audience is able to see how and why the adult Pam Hughes behaves the way she does.

Haunted by her past, Bowen’s character does everything in her power to never come to face the “Sweet Sixteen Killer” again. It was unique to find a movie, let alone a slasher film, that left a survivor. During the hour and 46-minute movie, it is very clear that Pam had lots of time to prepare not only herself but also her daughter in case she ever ran into the “Sweet Sixteen Killer” again by placing several weapons around her home and taking several self-defense classes.

“Totally Killer” is a fresh take on a whodunit slasher film, as it is the first of its kind to embrace uncharted territory when creating this type of movie. It is the perfect spooky movie for this October season and it is for people who want something different from the cliché horror movies but still want a good scare. “Totally Killer” is for those that enjoy dark comedy and a unique plot; it is definitely a must-watch.

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About the Contributor
Glory Lee
Glory Lee, Photo Editor
Glory Lee is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is and has been a photo editor for the past three years. She enjoys boxing, skydiving and jet skiing.
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