TOTALLY KILLER is a horror comedy on Amazon Prime that plays like a cross between the SCREAM movies and BACK TO THE FUTURE. Jamie is a 17-year-old girl who objects to her mother’s rules about being out alone late at night. Jamie doesn’t know that her mom, Pam, avoided death one night in 1987 when an unknown assailant brutally stabbed three friends to death. Once Jamie leaves the house in a huff, Pam is killed by the same Halloween-masked killer. An encounter with the killer and a makeshift time machine sends Jamie back to 1987, with a chance to stop the killer and save her mother’s life.
TOTALLY KILLER applies lots of wit to the usually stale slasher movie genre. However, the movie leans too much into its humor and is somewhat lacking in scary moments. That said, the movie has strong arcs of redemption, forgiveness and sacrificial love as Jamie encounters grave danger to save her teenage mom and others. Sadly, TOTALLY KILLER has excessive obscenities, including multiple “f” words, graphic violence, underage drinking, lewd content, and a comical marijuana scene.
(C, B, Pa, LLL, VVV, SS, N, AA, DD):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light Christian, moral worldview with strong arcs of redemption, forgiveness and sacrificial love as teenage girl travels back in time to save her mother’s life by stopping her killer decades before, but other teenage characters are sexually “loose” and drink illegally to excess, though it’s ultimately rebuked as reckless behavior;
At least 30 obscenities (including 20 “f” words), one Jesus profanity, one light profanity, a person gives another person two middle fingers, another time one middle finger is waved;
Very strong violence such as a serial killer stabs three victims 16 times each in graphic fashion, frequent images of bloody corpses, and several violent close-combat scenes, one of which shows a teenage girl being thrown down a staircase and suffering injury;
Strong mixture of sexual content includes at least two scenes of teenagers in bed fully clothed kissing and groping each other intending to have sex, but who are interrupted, plus about 20 sexual innuendoes, and comically portrayed but crass sexual slang;
Young adult males are shown shirtless in several scenes, including one who’s particularly fit that one of the main females flirts with repeatedly, hoping to have sex with him;
Teenagers illegally drink alcohol to excess in a couple of scenes, particularly when a very large bottle of vodka is gleefully shared;
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
A teenage girl gives marijuana-laced brownies to others without warning them; and,
TOTALLY KILLER is a horror comedy on Amazon Prime that plays like a cross between the SCREAM movies and BACK TO THE FUTURE and is about a teenage girl who accidentally goes back in time 35 years, where she must save her mother from a serial killer operating in both time periods. Fast-paced and funny, TOTALLY KILLER has clever fun blending genres and features a terrific performance by Kiernan Shipka as the female lead, but the movie’s positive, redemptive aspects are marred by lots of strong foul language, graphic violence, lewd content, and underage alcohol use.
Kiernan Shipka plays Jamie, a typical teenage girl who’s engaging in the usual teenage bad attitude towards her mom’s rules where her mother orders her not to be out alone late at night. What Jamie doesn’t realize is that her mom, Pam (Julie Bowen), has every reason to be concerned, because three of her best friends from high school were brutally stabbed to death one night back in 1987. Pam managed to avoid the same fate. However, once Jamie leaves the house in a huff, Pam is attacked and stabbed to death by a Halloween-masked killer who’s returned to kill her after 35 years.
Jamie tries to get her mind off the tragedy by visiting her best friend, a science nerd who claims to have invented a time machine hidden inside a photo booth at an abandoned 1980s amusement park on the outskirts of town. When Jamie takes a walk through the park later that night, the masked killer appears and chases her with a knife, leading Jamie to hide in the photo booth. When the killer digs his knife into the control panel of the time machine, Jamie is zapped back into the days before the previous three murders occurred in 1987.
Jamie’s a total fish out of water culturally, and the writers have great fun showing Jamie react in woke horror at the politically incorrect things she suddenly sees everywhere. Jamie decides to search for her teenage mom and her ill-fated friends, only to find that they are condescending bullies whom the entire student body can’t stand and who label them the queens of the campus. Jamie also runs into her nerdy best friend’s mom and befriends her to try and impact the future creation of the time machine in 2023. This causes Jamie to be fast friends with some of the school’s greatest outcasts.
Jamie’s goal is to stop them all from going to the wild teenage party where they were killed. Instead, she leads them to a cabin deep in the woods. The only problem is, Jamie forgot that the masked killer also killed people there. Now, her attempts to save everyone wind up putting them at greater risk than ever before.
Can Julie stop the killer before he starts and save her mother’s life? Will her efforts to stop the murders cause seismic changes to the present day?
Like the hugely popular SCREAM movie series, TOTALLY KILLER applies a great deal of wit to the usually stale and strictly dark slasher movie genre. It’s not quite as well produced, however, as the classic original SCREAM or its most recent iteration this past spring, however. That’s because TOTALLY KILLER leans a little too much into its humor and seems somewhat lacking in having enough scary moments for genre fans.
TOTALLY KILLER has some positive messages. Jamie learns to love and respect her mother after seeing her teenage mom back-talk her own mom, Jamie’s grandmother. As a result, Jamie realizes that Pam’s treatment led to her grandmother being afraid to come over throughout Jamie’s childhood and teenage years.
Jamie politely corrects teenage Pam. Also, seeing her mother’s vulnerabilities behind her tough surface makes Jamie all the more determined to save her and be a better daughter when she returns to 2023. As a result of all this, TOTALLY KILLER has strong arcs of redemption, forgiveness and sacrificial love, especially when Jamie encounters grave danger trying to save her mother and her friends. TOTALLY KILLER also has a refreshingly anti-woke tone to much of its humor during the scenes set in 1987, which adds to the fun.
However, the stabbings in TOTALLY KILLER are more graphic and bloody than the SCREAM movies and have numerous bloody flashbacks to the movie’s victims in 1987. The comedy in the movie helps take the edge off this content, however.
TOTALLY KILLER also has lots of strong foul language, including at least 20 “f” words. It also features some scenes where numerous sexual innuendoes and slang terms are used. In addition, underage alcohol use is quite prevalent in the teenage pool party scenes. One teenage girl makes marijuana-laced brownies, which Jamie unwittingly takes and winds up humorously impaired just as the danger around her increases.
TOTALLY KILLER has two or three scenes of clothed teens engaged in passionate kissing and touching each other in bed, making it obvious that they are heading for sexual intercourse, but the killer always breaks things up before anything graphic occurs. However, Jamie herself steers clear of the drinking and sexual activities of those around her.
Ultimately, the combination of objectionable content in TOTALLY KILLER is excessive and unacceptable.
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