Totally Killer! A Time Travelling Photo Booth……with MURDER

17th Dallas International Film Festival

By Ben Bright


Yes, YES!!!!! I am still relishing in the Halloween season! And you should too!
That statement is backed up by a peer-reviewed and published doctoral thesis, ergo 100% cold hard facts Halloween is fun and enjoyed by all that aren’t nutz, so, take that Christmas! I’ve already got my coveralls and white mask with orange hair ready for the end of the month!

So, get out your Blu-rays and DVDs and streaming services and watch The Exorcist, Evil Dead, Drag Me To Hell, and Halloween. Or you can stream Totally Killer, on Amazon Prime Video.

This horror comedy follows Jaime (Kiernan Shipka from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and White House Plumbers) who is your typical teenage girl who has a typical teenage strained relationship with her overprotective mom (Julie Bowen from Happy Gilmore and Modern Family), who is the only survivor an attack on her and her friends in 1987.

Now in 2023 the killer reappears after over 3 decades and chases Jaime into a fairgrounds with a blood lust that can only be satiated by murder into a time-traveling photo booth(don’t overthink it, just go with it and you’ll find out if you watch it) that incidentally transports her back to 1987 to the time before the murders(once again, don’t question it, just watch it and all your queries will be given their due resolution. I’m just here to review).

When she figures out where she is, she decides to prevent the murders from happening, which is harder than it sounds because the police (One of which is played by the always funny Randal Park, The Interview, Veep. Some of the best scenes in this movie have him in it) are dismissive of her claims that there are going to a series of murders so she has resolved the issue herself while also running into her mom who, much to her surprise, was at one point was the queen bee bitch movie stereotype who does not hesitate to tell her to go “fuck off and die”.

What happens is standard slasher film fare with comedy mixed in for good measure (not that there is anything wrong with that) with murders, red herrings, and resolution.

I’m not going to go in-depth with this because that would be spoiling the fun and after conducting a brief Google search, I learned that approximately 67.1% of internet users in the United States have Amazon Prime so odds are that if you are reading this, you more than likely to have Amazon Prime and therefore have access to this movie(Google “what percentage of Americans have Amazon Prime”). Watch it and you will find out!

There is a lot to like about this movie. It has a great soundtrack including artists like New Order and Echo and The Bunnymen.
I enjoyed meeting younger versions of people Jaime knows and her excuse to describe what she knows and that she’s not from the future.

Humorous differences between 1987 and 2023 like the lack of the internet are very funny. Two characters even share a conversation about the quality of marijuana in 1987 is not as good as it is in 2023. It wasn’t. No stems and seeds in 2023!!!

Tobacco use is addressed in the movie, even to the extent where the police are more concerned with having a smoke than preventing a series of murders while discussing how time travel movies “never make any sense” and a woman smoking a cigarette in front of her children lamenting how the ’80s are almost over, and she still hasn’t tried cocaine. All done while not glorifying the substances.

I liked that the time travel logic does not follow the Back to The Future or Avengers: Endgame rules. It is not very well addressed but the way it is very funny.

However, one major flaw exists in the movie which drove me crazy. Jaime brings her attitude of Generation Z superiority with her. Being vocally judgmental against the people of 1987 and how you cannot say some things and cannot do some things. I very much felt like I was having a lecture screamed at me. It was almost like the writers were trying to project their belief system on the audience. Although it is effective sometimes when it is being used at the character’s expense.
There is a particularly funny dodgeball scene. Coming at the tail end of Generation X, dodgeball was a daily routine for me, and seeing the character being punished for it had me laughing very hard.

Overall, it was a pretty good flick. It had some good jokes and great kills.

It’s also almost like a slasher movie with training wheels on or maybe a “starter slasher”. This is not Friday the 13th. This is a slasher that you can watch on the sofa with your ten-year-old.

Run time is an issue that I have grown very irritated with since movies are almost always unnecessarily long since they are shot digitally now. A lot of times, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

But this comes in at an hour and forty-seven minutes which is a very satisfying runtime for most movies. That being said, I didn’t feel like my time was wasted.

So, if you like the slasher genre and the horror-comedy genre, this overall is an entertaining watch and since it’s on Amazon Prime, if you have it, you can watch it and not feel cheated out of your money if you don’t like it. But just watch it. I challenge you to watch it! Just do it.
You must be at least a little bit curious or else you wouldn’t be reading this review to the end so just watch it!

15th Dallas International Film Festival