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The Slasher Flick has had a bit of a renaissance lately, hasn’t it? Despite a brief revival in the ‘90s, it seemed for a good couple decades there that the Slasher had been killed off for good. A new one liked to come shambling around every once in a while, to little fanfare, only to eventually skulk back to its lonely grave and bide its time until the world was ready once again.

Luckily, the world seems ready, and Slashers are back in business.

Directed by Marcel Walz, That’s a Wrap is a throwback to Slashers that knows what made slashers so much fun to begin with. We’re not here for dense symbolism and over-wrought metaphors about the human condition. This is a B-Movie, and we’re here to see the three B’s: Blood, Breasts, and Beasts. That’s a Wrap delivers on all three fronts.

Granted, the slasher in That’s a Wrap is a human killer, so the Beast in this case is metaphorical. But we Slasher fans are poets at heart so that’s acceptable.

To celebrate the completion of his latest masterpiece, horror filmmaker Mason Maestro (Robert Donavan) invites the cast back to the studio for a wrap party. As the party goes on, the guests find themselves pairing off, either to meet with possible mentors and further their careers, or to meet with possible partners to fulfill their sexual appetites. To the surprise of nobody except the oversexed cast, a killer stalks the dark corridors of the set, ready to strike the moment they make themselves vulnerable.

That’s A Wrap is everything I could ask for in a movie. It’s garishly violent, unabashedly sexy, and an absolute blast to watch. Not content to simply stab a few people here and there, That’s a Wrap relishes its special effects showmanship and paints the walls with blood. Sometimes literally.

Beyond the extravagant murder sequences, what truly makes That’s a Wrap stand out among the contemporary Slasher wave is the mystery aspect. There’s plenty of movies coming out lately that focus on body-counts and gore effects (and God bless ‘em for it) but very few dig deep into what brought about the best of the golden age Slashers: The Murder-Mystery.

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A nice Giallo-esque mystery is sorely missing from much of the modern Slasher landscape, even though the whodunnit plot is the most engaging and entertaining flavor of Slashers. It’s here where That’s a Wrap excels. Everyone is a suspect, and anyone can die at any moment.

The script by Joe Knetter and Robert L. Lucas skillfully obscures just who the main character is, lending itself to great tension as the cast splits off into small groups. By giving each character equally plausible motives for being the killer, there never comes a moment when the characters truly feel safe. From the moment they’re locked into the studio, no one can be trusted, and nothing is off-limits.

Knetter and Lucas have done their research, and they know how to make a good Slasher.

That said, they could have left a little bit of that research in the background. The biggest problem that plagues the modern Slasher is its desire to drop easter eggs referencing the classics that came before. Homages are great and can be a nice tip of the hat to let the audience know what kind of film we’re in for. But done too often, it starts to wear thin. That’s a Wrap never quite wears out its welcome with the references, but early on it insists on beating the audience over the head with its horror trivia knowledge.

It’s a dangerous game to play. If you reference an older (potentially better) movie within your story, you’re taking a risk in inviting the audience to turn off your movie and watch something they already know they like. Fortunately, That’s a Wrap manages to stand on its own two feet and the threat of a premature ending is quickly averted. But it would be better served if it dropped the constant references and didn’t insist of reminding the audience of other Slashers which they could be watching

The counterpart to excessive references is the self-aware and meta plot devices. That’s A Wrap falls victim to playing that card a bit heavy as well. I’m down for some meta-commentary, but it can also get real stale real fast.

Let’s review this plot to make sure I have this straight: The movie That’s a Wrap is about the cast of a movie also titled That’s a Wrap, which is about the cast of a horror movie getting killed at the wrap party after completing a horror movie. So now the cast of the movie about the cast of a movie getting killed at the after-party are actually getting killed at the after-party by the actual killer who helped in the making of the movie about people getting killed at an after-party.

Do I have that right? I think I have that right.

We’re going about ten levels too deep on the meta with this one. Just relax guys. It doesn’t have to be that complicated.

Despite these minor holes that it insists on digging for itself, That’s a Wrap succeeds in being one of the most fun Slashers to come out in recent years. It wears its influences a little too proudly on its sleeve, but at the same time it doesn’t let its fandom get in the way of its own success.

This is a fine addition to the Slasher canon.  That’s A Wrap is wildly violent, flagrant in its sexuality and has no qualms about throwing a healthy number of bodies into the proverbial meat-grinder. It knows its roots and confidently follows in the bloody footprints of its ancestors. It’s the kind of movie perfectly crafted for those of us that are poets at heart.