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Review Totally Killer (2023): Not Happy Death Day!

genre: comedy, horror,

Totally Killer seemed very similar to Happy Death Day and Freaky. While Freaky was a misfire, Happy Death Day was a real blast and I had hope Totally Killer would be more like this, especially since it also uses a gimmick, time travel, to hunt for a serial killer.

Unfortunately, Totally Killer is a disappointment. It's not as bad as Freaky, but certainly doesn't even come close to Happy Death Day. The focus seems to be on the comedy, and that would have been fine had the jokes actually been funny. Yes, I was laughing hard at some jokes. But that was at the beginning. After ten minutes or so, the jokes are too wokish and cringy. It's so blatant and unfunny that you almost think this is intended for a woke crowd. But by doing so, they are excluding someone like me. I regard myself as someone on the left, politically speaking, but certainly am not a fan of wokism and everything attached to it. Perhaps I agree with certain principles, only not on how they want to achieve those. In this film, for example, a statement is made concerning the shorts worn by students in the Eighties. I mean, they are pretty short, but when were they ever problematic? I lived in the eighties and can't remember that ever being an issue. Yet, lead Jamie, played by Kiernan Shipka makes a big deal about them. Actually, I think this film does a very poor job of representing the eighties since apart from a few things it doesn't really look much like what you would actually find in the eighties. Jamie constantly finds herself berating others for not acting they are supposed to. Only in some cases she was right.

She also references to Scream which besides humour did a very good job of adding tension, thrills and suspense. This must be the makers of the film padding themselves on their back while being completely oblivious to the big elephant in the room. Totally Killer has no suspense whatsoever. I think this can be credited to the writers and director Nahnatchka Khan. She has no experience with the horror genre. All she has done so far is comedy and it shows. Scenes that could have been tense lack dread. The killer for example is barely scary. I mean, the mask is ridiculous, but they could have made it work. The killer being super silent and effective does help somewhat, but not enough. 

Happy Death Day, was quite clever. And had a much better lead. I don't know why they picked Shipka, because she seems to have one expression for everything. We are supposed to root for her. But she made it quite hard to do so. Overall, I think Totally Killer is average, it's not a total waste of your time though. But certainly not a film I can recommend!

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