That’s a Wrap (2023) Review

That’s a Wrap begins with a double cameo as Alexis (Cerina Vincent, It Waits, Cabin Fever) the victim in That’s a Wrap’s pre-title segment takes a call from her manager (Tom Savini, Clapboard Jungle: Surviving the Independent Film Business, The Sadist) before making a bloody exit at the hands, and blade, of a killer dressed as The Mistress, the masked killer from the giallo That’s a Wrap.

Confused? Don’t be, That’s a Wrap is an exercise in meta filmmaking set at the wrap party for director Mason Maestro’s (Robert Donavan, Killer Kate, C.O.R.N.) latest film, That’s a Wrap. Mason, his wife Lily (Monique Parent, The Witches of Breastwick, Blood Scarab), and the film’s producer played by Frédéric von Anhalt, best known for being married to Zsa Zsa Gabor will all be there.

So will cast members Harper (Sarah French, Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar, The Special), Amber (Gigi Gustin, The Retaliators, Asteroid-a-Geddon), Jamie (Adam Bucci, Eastsiders, Insight), Carter (Ben Kaplan, Slasher.Com, The Haunting of Grady Farm), Stoney (Steve J. Owens, Cheetah in August, Burning Sage), Troy (Brandon Patricio, Megalodon: The Frenzy, The Night Shift: Book 2), and Lana (Sarah Polednak, The Amityville Moon, Bromates). They’re not allowed to bring guests or their cell phones however because Mason is paranoid about details of his film leaking.

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Director Marcel Walz (Seed 2, Rootwood) and writers Joe Knetter (Nutcracker Massacre, Desert Moon) and Robert L. Lucas (One for the Fire: The Legacy of ‘Night of the Living Dead’) know the drill and quickly get the large group of potential victims together, make sure they can’t easily call for help, separate them as they wander off from the lame party, then dispatch them in extremely bloody fashion. Well, apart from the character who says “There’s no way I’m dying off camera” and promptly does just that.

Being a giallo there is plenty of practical gore on display courtesy of Joe Castro (Bonehill Road, Escape from Area 51). Stabbings, a shower murder that pays homage to both Dressed to Kill and Psycho, castration, a throat slashing turned into an operatic piece of art, and more. That’s a Wrap understands that explicit violence is important to the genre in a way few recent attempts at it, apart from The Last Matinee, do.

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Unlike that film, though, That’s a Wrap doesn’t forget to infuse the carnage with a healthy amount of carnality. That includes a character who has to get fully naked to clean a stain from their dress, make-outs, sex scenes, etc. Those who complain that modern giallo are too tame should be satisfied by this one.

All of this is shot by Marcus Friedlander whose previous credits are heavy on Asylum films such as Clown and Ape vs. Monster that give no clue that he could pull off the creepy prowling camera and Argentoesque neon coloured scenes we see here.

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There are some strong performances from the cast, especially Monique Parent and Sarah French as actresses at different ends of their careers, and Sarah Polednak as the seemingly impossibly sheltered and prudish Lana. Also watch for cameos from Dave Sheridan (The Christmas Tapes, Massacre Academy) and Jed Rowen (Ouija Mummy, Amber Road) as a security guard and a photographer respectively.

That’s a Wrap delivers the kills, shocks and general sleaze we expect from a giallo, or a jello as one character pronounces it, and it does it in grand style. My complaints are few, the person behind the killings is fairly obvious and their monologue to the last survivor is a bit long. But beyond that, this is an enjoyably bloody romp that’s worth giallo and slasher fans’ attention.

That’s a Wrap will screen in the UK at FrightFest on August 25th, the same day that Quiver Distribution releases it to Digital Platforms in North America.

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