What if a killer time traveled with you to thwart your plan of saving your mother whom he had already killed? Yes, that’s exactly what happens in the movie, but it’s not so simple as there is a twist to it. Totally Killer, the new film, has horror, comedy, and action, and if you weren’t satisfied, it has a whole time travel plot that will remind you of the great films on this topic. With a mix of the plots of Terminator and Back to the Future, director Nahnatchka Khan creates her own style of slasher, innovatively recreating the eighties mood. In essence, Totally Killer is a slasher, and hence makes use of the fact that slashers usually surprise us with the second killer.
Jamie Hughes, in an attempt to run away from the killer, accidentally goes back to 1987 via her friend Amelia’s time machine. She has the opportunity now to alter the events just so that the murderer, dubbed the Sweet Sixteen Killer, cannot kill her mother in 2023. But is the same killer present in the 1980s timeline as well? Let’s take a look at the two killers, who were not connected in any way and had completely different motives:
The original timeline introduced us to Doug Summers as the principal of Vernon High School, where Jamie and her friends studied. He came off as a kind-hearted man who was ready to support Jamie after the Sweet Sixteen Killer had returned and claimed his fourth victim, that too after 35 years. The last time the masked killer showed up, three lives were lost. Marisa, Heather, and Tiffany were all killed in brutal fashion right around Halloween. Pam Miller, who became Pam Hughes after marrying the high school hunk Blake Hughes, became the fourth victim. Jamie was distraught, but she didn’t even get the time to grieve, as the killer was after her. Of all the people present in town, Doug must have been the most surprised by the killer’s arrival because he was the Sweet Sixteen Killer and hence knew that this new one was simply an impostor. Looking at Doug, it was impossible to discern that he had the capacity to kill three young girls. He may have murdered them, but he wasn’t a cold-blooded killer. Let me play the devil’s advocate and explain the motive behind his crimes.
When Jamie accidentally landed in 1987 because Amelia’s time machine had the date stuck in that year (a nod to Back to the Future), she recognized Doug as the principal. She saw that he was never given the respect he deserved by his peers. He wasn’t invited to the parties or to hang out with them. Jamie perhaps clubbed these points together and pinned the reason for this behavior on the fact that Doug was the hall monitor. He was a nerd of the highest order; hence, his interests did not match those of the rest, whose definition of having fun was getting high on fake weed. Doug had revealed that he knew karate, and that explained how he overpowered his opponents and manhandled his victims into submission. But Jamie couldn’t have suspected Doug, as he was never really bullied per se, and she didn’t know the ultimate secret to his killing spree. It turns out that it was not him, but his girlfriend Trish, whom the trio had bullied. This became clear when the gang killed him, saw the locket he wore (which he told everyone was the first computer microchip), and found his and Trish’s photo.
Back when she had just arrived, Jamie had been told about Fat Trish, who had died in a car accident. The truth was that the trio of Tiffany, Marisa, and Heather had called her home to know the truth behind the rumor of her and Coach Zane’s relationship. They bullied her and got her drunk to get the information out of her. She ran away while driving inebriated and, unfortunately, met with an accident and died. Doug was her boyfriend and knew what the trio had done. He took Tiffany and Heather out, but Jamie saved Marisa. But wait a minute! Jamie thought Doug was after Pam as well, but she wasn’t even present during Trish’s bullying session. That meant Doug wasn’t after Pam, and this is how Jamie became certain that there was a second killer. As soon as the realization hit, the second killer showed up in the 1980s timeline. But who was this impostor?
Would you believe it? The meek Chris Dubasage was the second killer. Doug had been killed in the 1980s timeline. There were bound to be changes in the 2023 timeline as well. Well, Chris couldn’t let that happen. He was Vernon Town’s tour guide, and his whole schtick depended on the infamous ‘Sweet Sixteen’ murders. His business peaked during Halloween. He had lured Pam into believing that the Sweet Sixteen Killer was back, as he had written a note terrifying Pam. He didn’t really know that Doug was the killer but wanted the killer to be back in the news so he could be in the limelight as the number one reporter on the topic.
Doug had no motive to kill Pam. His revenge was complete in the original timeline. Amelia was working on the time machine, and Chris learned about it. His heart must have started pounding when he experienced the ‘Mandela Effect’. All his research had glitches. Facts were being altered. All this was happening because Jamie had time traveled back to the eighties and was messing with the timeline. His whole existence would be meaningless if she stopped the murders from happening. So Chris had to travel back to 1987 and save the legacy of the Sweet Sixteen Killer. Doug had managed to kill Tiffany and Heather before he ended up dead. Chris came in and killed Marisa, completing the trifecta of murders.
Chris Dubasage thought of himself as a very smart man. But the most dimwitted thing he did was kill his own father, Norm Dubasage, in the 1980s timeline. He hated his father for being the most successful reporter in the area, and growing up under his shadow completely robbed him of all confidence. He thought he was reduced to being a petty tour guide, and nobody gave him the time of day or thought of him as a credible journalist. The Sweet Sixteen Murders were his claim to fame, and Jamie had almost destroyed that case by saving Marisa. If there was no serial killer on the loose, then Pam’s case was just another random murder, which wouldn’t gain him anything. Doug had killed the trio for revenge, but Chris had killed Pam just for the indirect fame, which made him more of a psychopath than Doug. He almost got away with it all, but Jamie shot him in the eighties timeline.
The younger Chris in the eighties timeline, who may have become a problematic man in Vernon in 2023, had been neutralized by this 2023 version himself. The choice of stabbing Norm on live TV, forgetting that young Chris was watching it from home, was a poor one, as it traumatized young Chris. As of the new timeline, he ended up at a monastery in India, away from Vernon and the gruesome violence. Jamie had created a new timeline and killed both killers, getting her mom back. The Sweet Sixteen Killer, however, was still a part of the town’s history, but neither Doug remained to tell the truth nor Chris, who could have grown up to be a killer. The film did hint that he was someone who had to be monitored. Perhaps there is a sequel on the cards that might have some fun ideas about his return. Jamie just might have to go back in time to sort out the matter and save her family.