It would be easy to classify director Marcel Walz’s That’s A Wrap as a throwback to the glory days of slashers and stylish Italian horror movies. That description is not entirely incorrect. Elevated horror, it ain’t. You won’t be encouraged to be afraid of an inanimate object. That’s A Wrap is a gleefully meta neo-giallo with over-the-top kills, memorable characters, and copious amounts of blood and nudity. It’s a glorious updating of the slasher genre, addressing gender politics in ways that the good ol’ masked killer movies never dreamed of. Do you think Jason Voorhees cared about smashing the patriarchy?
That’s A Wrap is about a movie called That’s A Wrap. Even better, That’s A Wrap takes place at the wrap party for That’s A Wrap. Confused yet? That’s A Wrap features a character called The Mistress, a masked killer in a Dressed to Kill trenchcoat and a long blonde wig. At the party, someone dons The Mistress’s costume and commences to murder members of the cast. It’s a fairly standard whodunnit plot, but That’s A Wrap adds more to it.
Director Mason Maestro (Robert Donavan) is a despicable human being. He looks at women as playthings, a personality trait that his wife, Lily (Monique Parent) endures. One cast member, Jamie (Adam Bucci), talks about women in a demeaning way. When leading actor Harper (Sarah French) talks about becoming successful without bowing down to the demands of men in the film business, other women in the cast mock her.
Not only is sexuality frankly discussed, it is graphically simulated. There are people who don’t care about seeing blood and guts but get freaked out if they see a breast. If that describes you, then you are not this movie’s target audience. That’s A Wrap pushes the boundaries of what is normally seen in a horror film. A long totally nude shower scene, masturbation, queer sex, straight sex, it’s all here. That’s A Wrap is fun in all the ways your pastor warned you about.
There’s not much restraint on the violence, either. Throats are slashed, mouths are burned, and heads are squished with open-eyed abandon. The realistic-looking gore effects appear to be practical, not CGI. That’s A Wrap is flat-out gross, with kill scenes that will replay in your mind after the film is over.
That’s A Wrap is a beautiful film. Walz directs all of the lunacy with great style, employing red and green giallo lighting in effective, unobtrusive ways. There are plenty of visual references to other horror films for fans to look for, giving That’s A Wrap an added layer of fun. Look for Cerina Vincent (Fright Night) in the movie’s extended opening sequence. Parent and French both give excellent performances. Sarah Polednak stands out as Lana, a seemingly innocent character who spells out bad words.
If there’s a problem with That’s A Wrap, it is a small aspect of the sound design. When you’re at a party, regardless of how lightly attended, there will be a hum of background noise. That feels non-existent in That’s A Wrap. You can hear the dialogue between the cast members clearly, and that’s fine, but it doesn’t sound natural. To my admittedly untrained ear, there’s a level of ambience missing.
With wild plot twists and in-your-face sexuality, That’s A Wrap delivers stylish, blood-soaked weirdness. It’s not for everybody, but if you bring an open mind and a hefty sense of humor, there’s a good and graphic time to be had with That’s A Wrap.
That’s A Wrap is available on VOD platforms from Quiver Distribution.