‘Totally Killer’ Packs a Punch Despite Spinning Too Many Plates as a Self-Aware Time Traveling Murder Mystery Whodunit Slasher

Horror has been getting more and more self-aware and self-referential for just a few years now, whereas time loops and alternate realities have even began infiltrating the style, and that’s to say nothing of our collective obsession with serial killer thrillers, homicide mysteries, and whodunits. Throwing all of these parts right into a single blast of cinematic escapism is a tall order, but it surely’s one which Completely Killer pulls off for essentially the most half.

Director Nahnatchka Khan created Don’t Belief the B—- in Condominium 23 and Contemporary Off the Boat earlier than proving her filmmaking chops after making her feature-length debut on Netflix’s unbelievable romantic comedy All the time Be My Perhaps, however the incoming Prime Video unique that premieres this Friday, Oct. 6 stretches her capabilities to breaking level. There are all the time at the least a handful of plates spinning at any given second, and whereas none of them plunge to the bottom and shatter by the point the credit come up, there’s no scarcity of wobbles alongside the way in which.

Picture by way of Prime Video

To be reductive and break the movie right down to its essence, the best strategy to describe Completely Killer is “Again to the Future meets Scream,” which is each apt and a little bit of a disservice on the identical time. Kiernan Shipka delivers one other effortlessly energetic and interesting efficiency as Jamie Hughes, watched over by Julie Bowen and Lochlyn Munro’s overprotective dad and mom, and with good cause. 35 years beforehand, an area ghoul dubbed the “Candy Sixteen Killer” murdered a close-knit band of highschool associates, leaving Bowen’s Pam as the only survivor. With the long-dormant knife-wielding maniac again on the scene, Jamie inadvertently winds up caught in 1987 due to the time machine her finest good friend was constructing for the science honest (don’t ask), giving her the chance to finish the spree earlier than it’s even had an opportunity to start.

Naturally, it’s not simple for a complete stranger to descend upon a small city from out of nowhere and begin warning everybody they’re about to be stabbed repeatedly into oblivion, particularly when it seems the teenage model of Pam (Olivia Holt) is a part of a bitchy Imply Ladies-esque clique disconcertingly obsessive about emulating the fashion of Molly Ringwald.

Throw within the distinct lack of expertise – resulting in a number of enjoyable beats revolving round DNA proof and databases – and Shipka’s erstwhile Marty McFly has a tricky job on her arms. Earnest in its method to nostalgia whereas nonetheless discovering the time to judge how dated and borderline offensive even essentially the most innocuous of exchanges between associates might be by a 2023 lens, in amongst the speak of cocaine and blowjobs, a multi-generational story of familial trauma emerges as the foremost narrative driving power.

totally killer
Picture by way of Prime Video

After all, it’s drenched in gags and gore, typically to the extent that you would state the argument for Completely Killer making the unsuitable transfer in prioritizing its comedy over the horror, but it surely’s a good sufficient anchor and linchpin from which the blood-caked, booze-soaked, and panic-stricken subplots spin out. One other draw back is that it may possibly typically come throughout as feeling too over-familiar and by-product of different – and pretty current – movies, one thing that’ll little question be much more apparent for anyone with an affinity for the likes of Completely happy Demise Day, Sizzling Tub Time Machine, The Closing Ladies, and even the current Scream “requels.”

On the plus aspect, it doesn’t fairly unfold in the way in which you suppose it is going to bar one or two twists which might be signposted from pretty effectively off, and when the chaos breaks out it’s all shot and framed with fashion, verve, and a shocking quantity of visceral chaos. Among the bursts of frantic violence is perhaps a contact predictable of their staging and execution, however Completely Killer works finest when it lulls you right into a false sense of safety earlier than pulling the rug proper from beneath, which occurs much less typically than you would possibly like.

totally killer
Picture by way of Prime Video

The script by no means even tries to make sense of itself, which opens the door to references being made about every thing from Again to the Future to Avengers: Endgame, whereas Shipka correctly opts to root her efficiency within the absurdity of all of it. As each a time journey film and a slasher, Completely Killer‘s dialogue is usually decreased largely to popular culture references and unwieldy exposition, however the star’s flip – finest described as a wink and a shrug – ensures that it by no means tries too arduous to current itself as something rooted in even a remotely tangible actuality.

Constructed upon robust foundations and an much more concrete idea, Completely Killer tries its hardest to deal with as many various and disparate parts directly as humanly doable. Each its largest power and most obtrusive weak point, the tip result’s nonetheless a fun-filled and eminently entertaining genre-bender that’s positive to go down a storm among the many Halloween crowd, and eventual cult traditional standing undoubtedly can’t be dominated out, both.


The ambition typically outweighs the execution, however ‘Completely Killer’ continues to be a enjoyable and bloody riff on a number of completely different genres directly.