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Richland Student Media

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Richland Chronicle 5/07/24
Richland Chronicle 5/07/24

‘Totally Killer’ is totally mediocre

The masked Sweet Sixteen Killer about murder his next victim in 30 years. (Photo/IMDB)

In the world of cinema, “Totally Killer” is a unique blend of modern and ‘80s aesthetics, marrying humor with horror while resurrecting a menacing figure from the past. It’s like a meeting point between “Back to the Future” and “Scream.”
The film dives into a coming-of-age story centered around Jamie, a 16-year-old portrayed by Kiernan Shipka, who embarks on a quest to dismantle a circle of killers.
Her journey takes a peculiar twist when the murderer from her mother’s past unexpectedly resurfaces, catapulting Jamie back in time to the ‘80s.
In this bygone era, she must assume a new identity and befriend her own mother, played by Olivia Holt, with the goal of erasing the killer from existence.
Nahnatchka Khan, renowned for her directing work on “Always Be My Maybe” and as producer and showrunner on the TV series “Young Rock,” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” emphasizes the importance of creating a unique yet genuinely frightening experience in horror.
“It’s got to feel unique, but it’s got to feel scary, and that there’s a thinking behind it. And the thing that I loved was the idea of just a handsome man being terrifying.” She said in an interview to the Hollywood Reporter.
However, “Totally Killer” falls short in this aspect. While it undoubtedly offers an entertaining blend of comedy and thrills suitable for a family audience, it falls flat in the realm of genuine terror. The notion of a “handsome man being terrifying” doesn’t translate well in this film, where the killer may have possessed an ‘80s charm but fails to send shivers down the spine of contemporary viewers.
Despite its predictability, the movie does maintain a sense of uniqueness. Khan manages to keep her audience engaged through a series of unexpected plot twists.
While most of the narrative turns might not be entirely surprising, the film succeeds in keeping viewers on their toes, creating a sense of intrigue that elevates the viewing experience. In the end, “Totally Killer” stands as a fun and engaging comedy-thriller that might not live up to the promise of bone-chilling terror but manages to carve its own niche with its blend of humor, horror and a touch of nostalgia.
The film possesses a distinct style and incorporates enough plot twists to captivate its audience, even though it may fall short of delivering the anticipated horror experience.
While the movie is far from an eyesore and provides a worthwhile way to spend some time, it primarily serves a younger audience with vibrant 80s parents or those who find humor best complemented by a laugh track.
“Totally Killer” may not meet the expectations of a horror flick, and it’s clearly a PG-13 endeavor—despite any gruesome violence, don’t let that mislead you. In other words, it’s a “Totally Killer” movie for the fam.

Grade: B-

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