The new horror comedy from Blumhouse, Totally Killer, places Kiernan Shipka up against a killer on the loose when she time-travels back to the ’80s. Soaking in ’80s nostalgia and cheesiness, the Amazon Prime original lands ideally in the spooky season, offering up gore, humor, and chills for teen Slasher fans both young and old.
To celebrate the release of the blood-soaked horror comedy from director Nahnatchka Khan, we recommend ten movies to watch if you loved Totally Killer, so you can keep the thrills and chills going throughout October.
10 The Final Girls
After losing her mother in a car crash, Max (Taissa Farmiga) gets to see her mom again when she and her friends are sucked into the fictional ’80s slasher “Camp Bloodbath.” However, the mother, Nancy (Malin Ackerman), is bound to the movie’s structure in plot and personality and is destined to die. Max takes it upon herself to try to rewrite the script by having her and her friends interfere in the hope that Nancy will become the ‘final girl’ and live.
The plot of The Final Girls and Totally Killer share plenty of similarities, including a time-traveling angle that reunites the protagonist with their mother from the past. This makes the films two perfect companion pieces as both are throwback slashers with a healthy dose of comedy and plenty of ’80s horror nostalgia.
9 Fear Street Part 2: 1978
The Fear Street trilogy was a wonderful throwback to those who grew up on the R.L. Stine novels, with each film aiming to capture a different aesthetic and pay homage to various horror genres. Feat Street 2: 1978 is not only the best of the trilogy but also leans heavily on a late ’70s horror aesthetic that is wonderfully captured.
Not quite the 80s in which Totally Killer, the two films still share much in common with how much they focus on capturing an era. In addition, Fear Street 2’s horror elements are derived from a familiar slasher structure, making it the most comparable. All three Fear Street films are great and worth watching in the correct order, but if you have to check out one along with Totally Killer, Part 2 is an easy choice.
8 Blood Hook
If you loved the cheesy ’80s aesthetic of Totally Killer, why not check out a gem of an ’80s slasher that also has a comedic twist? Blood Hook fits the bill nicely, with the killer on the loose taking out locals and contestants at an annual fishing competition with a large, deadly fishing lure.
The film is written and directed by Jim Mallon, who, while not a household name, was integral in creating the cult phenomenon Mystery Science Theater 3000 as a writer and producer. The film is a lovely precursor to MST3K, displaying some of the witty dialogue Mallon would become known for, and is perfect for those looking for a good horror-comedy.
7 Army of Darkness
It is hard not to think of Army of Darkness when considering a horror-comedy with a time-traveling twist. Sam Raimi’s creation of the Evil Dead is one of the most beloved franchises among diehard horror fans and is heavily influential in horror to this day. That said, Totally Killer and Army of Darkness don’t share much in common beyond using time travel. Still, any reason to go back and visit Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) fighting hordes of the undead is worth mentioning, and it also offers a contrast to classic vs. modern horror comedies, which is always a joy to debate.
6 Happy Death Day
Happy Death Day follows a college student named Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), who is murdered on the night of her birthday and gets trapped in the day, getting murdered in various ways. With each death, she pieces together more about her murderer and plots a way to break the loop with the help of her friends.
Happy Death Day’s premise seems slightly hamfisted and trying to get by on a gimmick: take one part Scream and one part Groundhog Day, throw in some gore, and call it a day. However, the talented team of director Christopher Landon and writer Scott Lobdell managed to craft an inventive and unique take on the genre, making it one of the most memorable horror films of the 2010s. There is also a sequel, Happy Death Day 2 U, that is equally enjoyable.
5 You’re Next
You’re Next may exist on the more extreme side of slashers, with plenty of gruesome kills and suspense to push the story forward. Still, Adam Wingard’s knack for constructing twisted comedies interjects a lightness into the otherwise blood-soaked horror that will find favor with those who enjoyed Totally Killer.
The plot is pretty straightforward. An estranged family meets up only to find themselves targeted by a gang of killers wearing animal masks. However, the real draw here is how well constructed the ensuing chaos and fight for survival is, with the plot being second to the entertaining spectacle.
4 The Slumber Party Massacre
The Slumber Party Massacre is a unique beast in the world of slashers, marking one of the few released in the era and genre written and directed by women, director Amy Holden Jones and writer Rita Mae Brown. Originally meant to be a more comedic parody of the genre from a female perspective, the film is still a solid slasher with a witty, self-aware script.
This is undoubtedly an ’80s classic worth revisiting for those who liked Totally Killer, echoing an approach to horror that would become influential to many aspiring women filmmakers. There are also two sequels, a documentary about the making of, and an enjoyable 2021 remake — though you should stick with the original 1982 release.
3 Stage Fright
Horror and musicals are a perfect pairing, with films like Anna and the Apocalypse and Cannibal The Musical showing that there is undoubtedly a fandom around combining the two genres. For those who like their violence with a bit of song, the Canadian horror movie Stage Fright will certainly scratch that itch. Moreover, the tale of a musical camp with a killer on the loose who hates musicals gives the whole production a twisted sense of humor that will resonate with those who enjoyed Totally Killer.
This British horror film Triangle is a mind-bending thrill ride that utilizes time loops to tell the story of a ship stuck in the Bermuda Triangle with a killer on board. Starring Melissa George as a single mom, Jess, on a getaway with friends, Triangle keeps viewers guessing until the end with a slightly surreal approach to telling its story.
Tonally, Triangle and Totally Killer are pretty different, but both include elements of dealing with a time anomaly and have a strong female protagonist. Still, the two are comparable in this case for being well-written and exciting takes on the slasher genre.
Given how skilled director Christopher Landon is at crafting entertaining comedy horror films that reach a broad audience, it probably comes as little surprise to have another movie of his make our list with the slasher Freaky. Starring Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton, Freaky is a parody of the plot of Freaky Friday, dealing with body swapping. However, instead of a feel-good story about learning to adapt to another person’s life, a serial killer and a young student get swapped, and the two become pitted against each other.
Christopher Landon excels in crafting silly concepts into an accessible horror that can entertain both teens and older horror fans. Throw this one on after Totally Killer, and you will keep the entertainment going for an October horror movie watch party.