Killing Amy is a 2021 American black comedy supernatural slasher revenge film directed by Karyn Kusama and written by Ryan Murphy and Leigh Whannel from an original proof of concept story by Whannel.
The film is produced by Bill Block, James Wan and Jason Blum.
The film focuses on a mousy high school outcast who teams up with a group of high school misfits to orchestrate a prank against an extremely popular but tyrannical cheerleader during a spring break trip to the mountains. But things go south when the cheerleader is killed in an accidental murder which leads to the teens burying her body on an indian burial ground to ensure to keep her death a secret. Little do they know, the indian burial ground mysteriously brings the girl back to life and she proceeds to pick off the teen one by one.
The film stars Sophia Lillis, Jessica Sula, Alex Wolff, Lana Condor, McKaley Miller, Noah Centineo, Joel Courtney, Kaitlyn Dever, Judah Lewis, Molly Ringwald, Ralph Macchio and Haley Lu Richardson as the title character.
The film was distributed by Orion Pictures, Miramax and Blumhouse Productions. Killing Amy released on August 20th, 2021 to extremely positive reviews for it's inventive concept, performances, callbacks to 80's teen films and it's irreverent blend of horror and black comedy. The film was also a huge surprise hit at the box office, grossing $666 million dollars worldwide.
The film starts with a bloodied girl running through the woods being pursued by an unknown assailant wielding a crudely made ceremonial dagger. When the girl trips on a fallen tree branch, the assailant advances upon her and begins to drive the dagger into her abdomen with the girl screaming in terror before a snarky narrator interrupts with a record scratch and the scene stops. The narrator then shows herself as Kate Wilson, a bullied high schooler who then reveals herself as the girl about to be killed and breaks the fourth wall to the audience by rewinding the events of this moment leading up to her eventual death to the last day of her junior year at Dumptruck High School in Dumptruck, Virginia in the year 1985.
Kate then tells the films events from her point of view with her being excluded to sit with the most popular girl in school named Amy Marshall. Amy ruled the school with an iron fist and has dedicated her life to make many people miserable especially Kate and her lifelong best friends Danielle "Dani" Sinclair and Rachel Wang.
- Haley Lu Richardson as Amy Marshall
- Sophia Lillis as Kate Wilson
- Jessica Sula as Darla Sheppard
- Lana Condor as Rachel Wang
- McKaley Miller as Danielle "Dani" Sinclair
- Kaitlyn Dever as Kelly Harper
- Alex Wolff as Jake Gelbman
- Noah Centineo as Warren Strick
- Judah Lewis as Justin Fitzgerald
- Joel Courtney as Wesley Lane
- Ralph Macchio as Principal Daniel Fox
- Molly Ringwald as Miss Regina Winters
- The concept was conceived as far back as 2014 when Leigh Whannel delivered the first draft of the script to Lionsgate as a proof of concept pitch but the studio turned it down due to the script's gruesome content and complex story. The script was the subject of an intense bidding war with studios Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks and Universal Pictures. Orion Pictures eventually won the bidding war and Miramax and Blumhouse agree to produce and co distribute the film. The script is re-written by Whannel and American Horror Story creator, Ryan Murphy who added 80's horror elements in the final draft.
- Millie Bobby Brown was originally cast as Amy Marshall but she backed out due to scheduling conflicts with the Netflix hit series, Stranger Things and that she didn't want to play a mean girl.
- Filming was originally meant to begin in March 2020 but production was shut down temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming did eventually happen the following October and lasted until February 16th, 2021.
- Killing Amy received acclaim from critics and audiences alike for it's morbid spin on 1980's horror films and teen comedies, it's simplicity and the performances specifically for Haley Lu Richardson and Sophia Lillis. The film has 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus reads, "Shamelessly nostalgic, deliciously twisted and wildly imaginative, Killing Amy is a funny, zany and manic gorefest that succeeds in turning the 80's teen film inside out and dishes out amazing performances from Sophia Lillis and Haley Lu Richardson that will have you screaming and laughing for more."
- Sydney Park, Bailee Madison and Bella Thorne auditioned for the role of Amy Marshall before Haley Lu Richardson secured the role.
- Both Molly Ringwald and Ralph Macchio become attached to the project due to the film's story taking place in the 80's since they starred in classic films from that period.