That's a Wrap movie poster

That's a Wrap

In theaters August 26, 2023


94 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , , , ,

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie being covered here wouldn’t exist.

There’s a private wrap party happening for the crew of the recently completed, “That’s A Wrap” (2023) a low-budget slasher horror film. Writer-director Mason Maestro (Robert Donavan) is super pumped to release it into the world. Unfortunately for everyone else, someone in the cast has a bone to pick. Dressed as the movie’s killer, Miss Mistress in a balaclava, platinum wig, and long red overcoat, that cast member eliminates the other actors and crew from future casting opportunities.

With a heavy nod to the giallo films and Full Moon classics of the late 80s and 90s, That’s a Wrap is as garish in its color palette as it is bloody in its kills. Each character has a name, but you’re not watching this to remember names. Lily (Monique T Parent) is Mason’s wife and a constant fixture in his movies. In fact, his movies are the only ones she can get a role in. Harper (Sarah French) has designs on larger productions with bigger budgets, Lana (Sarah Polednak) is the girl next door who seems shocked she found herself on a movie set, Molly (Eve Marlowe) and Amber (Gigi Gustin) are old hat on movie sets and know how to get them humming. Stoney (Steve J. Owens), Carter (Ben Kaplan) and Troy (Brandon Pratricio) round out our victims, with a few extra crewmembers thrown in for good measure and elevated body count.

That’s a Wrap is 94-minutes of nostalgic camp, everything from bare-breasted beauties to gratuitous sex to over-the-top slashings. It suffers from some of the longer scenes, for example, the opener lasts over ten minutes and it’s too long by seven, and the ending monologue is interminable at nearly 15 minutes. I’m sure there was something deep and meaningful someone meant to convey, but I think I got up to make popcorn, so I missed it. That leaves 69 (ho-ho!) minutes for full frontal nudity, a shower scene, two flavors of sex, and lots of bloody ways to die. It’s meant to be self-aware and everyone is in on the joke, but unlike movies like Scream (1996) or even Behind the Mask (2006) or Cabin in the Woods (2011) no one seems to realize they’re in a horror movie, even as they disappear from an intimate gathering one by one. The humor is more mean-spirited than funny, and as people begin to die, the countdown to the last kill means one death close to the movie being over.

This isn’t a movie that would necessarily benefit from more character development. No one is writing a dissertation on the devastating career-ending effects of deep-throating a hot curling iron, and adding more bodies would keep the killer too busy for a mere 90 minutes’ worth of work. It could have benefited from story development, however. Lots of unlikable people don’t make for a compelling movie, even if nearly all of them end up dead.

For as clever and inventive as the overall vision is with its homages and unending supply of blood, That’s a Wrap falls just a little short of enjoyable. No doubt it will end up on a lot of lists at the end of the year for most outrageous kills, but those few bright spots don’t make an entire movie. That’s a Wrap is the kind of movie you could put on as background at a Halloween Party and never worry about someone yelling to keep it down because they’re trying to watch the end. Marcel Walz will make more.

That’s a Wrap is unrated but we’ll call it Rated R for swears, full frontal nudity, throat slashing, people getting shot, people getting stabbed, sexy times, and dis-MEMBER-ment – hoo boy.

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Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

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