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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Totally Killer made me break my no scary movies policy

Totally Killer stars Kiernan Shipka and was released on Oct. 6 on Prime Video.

I absolutely loathe scary movies.

I don’t often see joy in jumping on instinct every other second. Purposefully getting myself scared and raising my heart rate to a level is fine for running, but uncomfortable if I’m trying to relax. I understand that fall, and October specifically, is the time for scary movies, but I stay away. 

I broke this norm after I began seeing clips from Totally Killer on TikTok.

Totally Killer, released on Oct. 6, centers around the town of Vernon in October. In 1987, Vernon was faced with a serial killer called the Sweet Sixteen Killer who killed three girls: Tiffany Clark (Liana Liberato), Heather Hernandez (Anna Diaz), and Marisa Song (Stephi Chin-Salvo). Each death was on the night of the respective girl’s birthday, and each girl was stabbed 16 times.

It starts in the present day with Jamie Hughes (Kiernan Shipka) and her parents Pam (Julie Bowen) and Blake (Lochlyn Munro). Jamie is a typical movie rebel teen daughter who gets yelled at for listening to music too loud. On Halloween night, against her mom’s initial wishes, Jamie accompanies her friend Amelia Creston (Kelcey Mawema) to a concert. Jamie and Blake come home to a resurfacing of the Sweet Sixteen Killer, and this time the victim is Pam.

I was willing to jump a few times and get a bit paranoid so I could see how the story played out. 

Jamie is distraught. And it doesn’t help that the killer is suddenly after her. In a twist of fate, when escaping the killer, Amelia’s attempt at a time machine works, and Jamie is transported to Oct. 24, 1987, a few hours before the first appearance of the Sweet Sixteen Killer. Hoping to save her mom, Jamie partners with young Amelia’s mom Lauren (Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson), and the younger version of her own mom Pam (Olivia Holt) to stop the killer before he starts. 

Though I hate scary movies, knowing this much of the plot intrigued me greatly. I was willing to jump a few times and get a bit paranoid, so I could see how the story played out. 

For the most part, I didn’t find Totally Killer to be all that scary. However, it is gory. I saw way more blood than I wanted, not that I ever wanted to see any. I have a strong aversion to seeing large amounts of blood, but I just turned my phone away from me when the screen had too much red. 

I loved that this movie was not just a horror movie, a comedy, a mystery, or a coming-of-age, but a mix of all four. The mix of genres made the movie remain enticing and not fall into overused plots. Though the mystery aspect of discovering the killer was a fairly easy guess for me, I still wanted to watch the movie to see if the killer got caught and because I liked the characters.

My favorite part of the time travel in the movie was Jamie’s constant culture shock and comments. Jamie was constantly critiquing problematic aspects of the ‘80s world she got thrown into, from her school’s old racist mascot to lewd statements on shirts and Jamie’s cry of “unwanted touch.” While the constant critique and shock could’ve gotten annoying, Kiernan Shipka’s acting never made the bit old.

Though I still think I’ll stay away from most horror movies, I’d be perfectly content to watch more like Totally Killer.

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About the Contributor
Kiera Kemppainen
Kiera Kemppainen, Copy Editor

Kiera is a senior continuing her writing journey with The Central Trend for a fourth, and final, year. Being on staff for the past few years has been one of her favorite parts of her high school experience. Besides writing, Kiera spends her fall as a part of the FHC varsity golf team and her winter on the ski team. She also has been coaching a youth golf team for the past three summers. For the rest of her time, Kiera likes to be around her family and friends. Kiera looks forward to making the most of her senior year while being part of The Central Trend for the last time.

Favorite book to gatekeep: The Green Glass Sea, by Ellen Klages; it was her fifth-grade book project book that her mom recommended

Current obsession: Headbands Favorite movie: 10 Things I Hate About You Has she gotten over hating steak? No, and don't expect her to

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