This film provides examples of the following tropes:
- California Doubling: An extreme case of it, as the movie was shot in America with an all-American cast because no one in Canada wanted anything to do with the production.
- Character Title
- Historical Villain Downgrade: Karla reimagined as Bernado's victim.
- Old Shame: Misha Collins has stated many times that he regrets his participation in Karla. He has explained that he was unaware how infamous and emotionally relevant the cases were in Canada at the time, and also states that the director of the film took things way too far and would compliment him after shooting particularly horrible rape scenes, saying "That was hot" (Collins ended up filing a restraining order against him.) He ended up having a phone conversation with one of the victims who escaped, and now tells people not to watch the movie, especially when it comes up at fan conventions.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Paul BernardoPaul: Hey, babe.
Karla: Where have you been?
Paul: I just raped a girl.
- Rape Discretion Shot: Several shots of Paul Bernardo grabbing a girl from behind, then stops before the rape.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil : Bernardo, in addition to the murders he (or the couple) committed, was also The Scarborough Rapist.
- Ripped from the Headlines: The Bernardo-Homolka case is one of the most notorious in Canadian crime history.
- The Sociopath: Paul Bernardo
- Serial Rapist: Paul Bernardo
- Serial Killer: Paul Bernardo
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The story itself is (sadly) quite true to reality, but mistakenly portrayed Homolka as yet another victim of Bernardo's sociopathic antics - despite the fact that it's long-since been established that she was just as culpable as Bernardo. The Canadian media and public were understandably appalled.
- This is arguable, however, as Karla's "victimization" at the hands of Bernardo was her main line of defense during the court case.