7 Best Movies to Watch From Blumhouse Television

Staff & contributors

In the vein of classic 80s films, Totally Killer is an homage to the genres that got its heyday in the decade. This film happens to be a serial killer mystery, a time-travel sci-fi adventure, and a teen comedy all at once. With mentions of Back to the Future and Molly Ringwald, the new addition to the Prime Video’s current horror roster makes a throwback to when these genres were at its peak. But these throwbacks aren’t just for style – like how true crime rehashes old cases for content, the small town of Vernon still rehashes the serial murders for entertainment, as if stuck and unable to move on from its glory days. Admittedly, this film does the same sin. Plenty of the twists and turns can feel predictable to those familiar with 80s movies. But the multi-genre mix still feels like a fun ride, even when it contradicts the point it’s making.

Genre: Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction

Actor: Alex Pychtin, Amy Goodmurphy, Andrew Barber, Andy Thompson, Anna Diaz, Brendan O'Brien, Charlie Gillespie, Conrad Coates, Eliza Norbury, Ella Choi, Fred Henderson, Jeremy Monn-Djasgnar, Jonathan Potts, Julie Bowen, Kelcey Mawema, Kevin Osea, Kiernan Shipka, Kimberly Huie, Liana Liberato, Lochlyn Munro, Madeleine Kelders, Olivia Holt, Pam Kearns, Patti Kim, Randall Park, Shahrokh Ferdowsi, Stephi Chin-Salvo, Tate Chernen, Tommy Europe, Troy Leigh-Anne Johnson, Valin Shinyei, Vanessa Prasad, Zachary Gibson

Director: Nahnatchka Khan

Rating: R

, 2023

Like the action thriller Cellular (2004), Unseen plays with the idea of saving someone only through a phone. This time, however, Yoko Okumura’s directorial debut has video call instead of just audio, with video used to help nearly blind Emily run away from her kidnapper ex. Through split screen shots, occasional open hazy irises, and tiny phone screens, Unseen takes us on a desperate escape, an escape made possible by Emily’s connection with random stranger Sam. While some parts feel absolutely ridiculous, the thriller still feels like a wild ride, especially when focused on its two leads. It’s still enjoyable, if you can accept its silliness and the shallow way it approaches certain themes.

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Actor: Brett Baker, Jolene Purdy, Michael Patrick Lane, Midori Francis, Missi Pyle, Nicholas X. Parsons, Ren Hanami

Director: Yoko Okumura

Rating: NR

The first thing we learn about Dolores Roach is that she is a person of sensation and scandal, a masseuse who, as the newspaper clippings reveal, turned out to be a murderous cannibal serving human flesh to unwitting customers at a local eatery, a la Sweeney Todd. But the series is less about the horrors of the act and more about the woman behind the front. “I was never the blood-hungry sociopath people say I am,” Dolores claims early in the first episode. “I was just some chick in Washington Heights.” In an attempt to humanize Dolores, we’re made privy to the unforgiving circumstances surrounding her case, namely: the desperation of poverty, the relentlessness of discrimination, the brokenness of the criminal justice system, and the inevitability of gentrification, all of which play a crucial role in Dolores’ eventual descent into misdeed and madness. It’s an interesting idea, fleshing out her darkness in a comic tone and pitting it against systemic social problems, but sadly the show never pulls off the balance it needs to become an effective dark comedy. Maybe something was lost when it was adapted from a one-woman play to TV series, but it never really shakes off that amateur approach to telling its delicate story. The heavy-handed narration and the occasional gimmicks overshadow the horrific deaths that occur, and they don’t leave enough space for the story’s relevant themes to aerate and make a significant impact. It’s also not nearly as scandalous nor as sexy as it thinks it is, lacking passion both in its love and murder scenes. They come off scrubbed and squeaky, blunting what could have been, at the very least, a sharp murder thriller. 

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Actor: Alejandro Hernandez, Justina Machado, K. Todd Freeman, Kita Updike