(director: Nahnatchka Khan; screenwriters: David Matalon, Sasha Perl-Raver, Jen D’Angelo,based on a story by David Matalon and Sasha Perl-Raver; cinematographer: Judd Overton; editor: Jeremy Cohen; music: Michael Andrews; cast: Kiernan Shipka (Jamie Hughes/Collette), Julie Bowen (Pam Hughes), Olivia Holt (Pamela Miller), Charlie Gillespie (Teen Blake Hughes), Randall Park (Sheriff Dennis Lim), Lochlyn Munro (Adult Blake Hughes), Troy L. Johnson (Teen Loren Creston), Liana Liberato (Tiffany Clark), Kelcey Mawema (Amelia Creston), Stephi Chin-Salvo (Marisa Song), Anna Diaz (Heather Hernandez), Ella Choi (Teen Kara Lim), Jeremy Monn-Djasgnar (Randy Finkle), Nathaniel Appiah (Teen Doug Summers), Jonathan Potts (Adult Chris Dubasage); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Jason Blum, Adam Hendricks, Greg Gilreath; A Prime Video release of an Amazon Studios presentation of a Blumhouse; 2023)

“The lightweight story was more comedy than slasher, which is good thing if you value laughs more than gore.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A snazzy ’80s styled time-travel/serial killer comedy directed by Nahnatchka Khan (“Always Be My Maybe”/”Ali Wong/Don Wong”), that has a fun time toying with this slasher film motif by bringing up the “Back to the Future” motif, only with murders tacked on. It’s adapted from a story by David Matalon and Sasha Perl-Raver, who script it with Jen D’Angelo. The horror production Blumhouse company released it.

In 1987, three teen girls are murdered in a small town by the masked killer dubbed the “Sweet Sixteen Killer.”

Thirty-five years later, on Halloween, in 2023, the teen Jamie (Kiernan Shipka) attends a rock concert. While she’s out, her mother Pam (Julie Bowen) — who was a friend of the three murdered girls — is attacked and murdered by a knife-wielding masked killer.

Later, Jamie is attacked but escapes, hiding inside a time machine built by her best friend, Amelia (Kelcey Mawema). Jamie is accidentally transported back to 1987, and realizes she has a chance to save the three girls and her mom. She meets Amelia’s teen mother Lauren (Troy L. Johnson) — the actual inventor of the time machine — and gets her help.

The lightweight story was more comedy than slasher, which is good thing if you value laughs more than gore.

REVIEWED ON 11/23/2023  GRADE: B-