When cinematic time travelling escapades rely on extensive nostalgia, the movies can go as wayward as a DeLorean set space-time continuum.
Unusually in this case, we have a science fair photo booth time machine, sending 2022 teen Jamie (Kiernan Shipka) back to 1987 to prevent a group of friends, including her mum as portrayed by Julie Bowan (35 years later) from being murdered on Halloween by the notorious, Sweet Sixteen Killer in a home invasion.
Searching for her teenage mum Pam (Olivia Holt), daughter to be Jamie, pretends to be a new Canadian student known as Jamie LaFleur.
Enrolling herself in high school, she soon to discovers that Pam is part of ‘mean girls’ group known as The Molly’s, all named due to wearing exact clothes worn by different versions of the great Molly Ringwald within her films. Massive thank you for costume designer Patti Henderson, for that amusing detail.
Trying to find the identity of the serial killer while adapting to 1980s high school is hard work, thankfully Jamie has the assistance from the teen mum of her best friend from the future who wrote a diary of scientific equations and experiments that inspired the time machine in the first place.
This is a fun comedic horror satire that has unfairly been compared to The Final Girls (2015) there’s similarities but not an abundance of plot correlation.
The final reveal here is somewhat disappointing, I would not be surprised if various endings were filmed.
Do stay viewing until after the end credits, extra footage shared worth the wait, adding to retro vibe.
Cult favourite and an impressive series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was a showcase for beguiling lead Kiernan Shipka.
Again commendable, a quintessential and perfect casting choice as stressed-out Jamie with fabulously real Gen-Z mockery.
Liana Liberato, so memorable in underrated duo Banana Split (2018) and The Beach House (2019) is an active participant here as is commitment of everyone, small and large characters of note throughout.
Finally it wouldn’t be a retro time travel caper without prominent tunes of an era exploited, be ready for Bananarama, New Order, Chris de Burgh or Echo and the Bunnymen crackling on the turntable.
Comedy, Horror | USA, 2023 | 15 | 6th October 2023 | Prime Video | Dir. Nahnatchka Khan | Kiernan Shipka, Olivia Holt, Charlie Gillespie, Lochlyn Munro, Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, Liana Liberato