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Totally Killer Is A Totally Fun Slasher Throwback, But Can Your Teen Handle It?

It's Back To The Future meets every '80s slasher movie.

If you’re a Millennial, Totally Killer is essentially tailor made to tick all of your nostalgia boxes. Starring Kiernan Shipka as 17-year-old Jamie, the movie — which premieres today on Prime — is a heady, colorful mash up of the time-travel classic Back To The Future and just about any campy slasher movie you can think of. The combo may sound odd, but it’s actually genius — Jamie travels back in time to 1987 to try and stop the “Sweet Sixteen Killer” from committing a series of murders and (spoiler!) save her mom (played by Julie Bowen of Modern Family) without ruining her own timeline. It’s silly, occasionally stabby, slasher fun at its’ finest, and definitely appropriate for grown ups who love cult-y, campy thrillers with as much humor as nostalgic nods. However, the movie may be about teens, but it walks a tightrope of being for teens. So is Totally Killer OK to enjoy as a family, if you kids are older? There are a few things to consider before hitting “play.”

Totally Killer is rated R

After watching even just the trailer, most parents would probably agree that it’s not a complete shock that Totally Killer got an “R” rating for:

  • Bloody Violence
  • Teen Drug, Alcohol Use
  • Sexual Material
  • Language

The trailer for Totally Killer, premiering October 6 on Prime.

It absolutely has all of those things, though none of them are glorified in the slightest, and the films protagonist, Jamie, is a strong, kind character. In fact, a lot of the movie’s funniest moments come from Jamie’s encounter with ‘80s norms that strike her as completely out of line, like a pretty aggressive game of dodge ball during a P.E. class, casual bullying and the ubiquity of smoking.

In addition to some slasher-y kills — of course — the movie really is a lot of fun. It’s extremely self-aware, chock full of “we know our audience to a ‘T’” moments, and because the killer is masked, there’s a great whodunit vibe that kept me guessing until the very end.

Where can I watch Totally Killer & it is appropriate to watch with my kid?

The cast of Totally Killer, after a very ‘80s dodge ball session. Prime Video

You can stream this movie starting Friday, October 6 on Prime. However, should you? Well, that’s another question. Our children are 5 and 2, and clearly way too young for this movie, but I could see being on the fence about showing it to a teen or tween who has already seen and enjoyed movies like Scream. Technically, an “R” rating means that the movie is not for kids under 17 to see on their own, and that seems fair. A group of older high school kids watching this movie together as part of a sleep over feels appropriate, as long as everyone knows what they’re getting into. Some main characters die, and even though you see it coming because we’ve traveled with Jamie from the future and we know (kind of) who gets murdered, those moments kept me on the edge of my seat. And when the killer stabs a victim — 16 times, every time — there’s a lot of blood and screaming.

Kids under 15 or 16 — particularly ones who don’t enjoy camp or anything scary, spooky — should probably pass on this one. And when in doubt? Watch it first, and then decide if your kid can — or would even want to — handle the movie’s most intense moments. After all, you know them best.

Totally Killer is streaming now on Prime Video.