Review: Wrap Me in a Sheet

Written, directed by and starring Britt Harris and Molly Muse, two sisters travel to the Washington coast to unearth a dark family secret.

One of the elements which is typically underrated for adding value to a film is the opening credits and with Wrap Me in a Sheet, Britt Harris and Molly Muse recognise that and start the film off on a satisfying note. It’s a simple touch but one that makes a fantastic first impression. The same thing goes for how they introduce their story, it’s paced out with a slow reveal, holding onto a sense of mystery for a good portion of the film. It’s also one which encompasses a number of different tones and does it well, starting out with a more classically American indie quirky spirit. It then develops both comedically and with a sense of darkness, as well as bringing an emotional vein. The way that the sisters support one another on this journey is reminiscent of Chanya Button’s Burn Burn Burn.

Their relationship is quickly convincing, especially as it dives in headfirst with some very sarcastic banter. Britt Harris and Molly Muse then open it up further with the emotional struggle, both individually and with their collective family experience. Their performances are sympathetic and have strong personalities, which aren’t an easy thing to build in such a short space of time. The characters almost feel like they’ve been taken from the early days of mumblecore. Although it does feel as though they needed to explore the emotional issues a touch further or add some additional context to really land the final punch to their portrayals.

Harris and Muse’s direction, along with Carlos De Carvalho’s cinematography captures a great variety of styles. There’s the initial candid nature to the atmosphere, interlaced with strong landscape shots and detailed, obscurely angled shots to add a bigger intensity. However, when it comes to the biggest shift of tone in its final moments, it causes the film to stumble. Having built its layer of emotion and past trauma, which mixes very well with the comedic edge, switching to something more artistic or metaphorical isn’t a great fit. It becomes overt in its attempt to be emotional or meaningful, it’s trying too hard when it genuinely doesn’t need to. The choice to also include nudity is another element that throws off the tone, it feels out of place and undermines the subtler choices Wrap Me in a Sheet made along the way.

Wrap Me in a Sheet starts off on strong footing and has a great concept but feels like it loses itself along the way. Britt Harris and Molly Muse are admirably trying to cover a lot of emotional territory within these brief minutes and not all of has the time to land affectively. Having first established a candid, funny foundation, it feels like by the end it’s taken a detour into something more poignant and it simply arrives too late in the game for that to work the way it’s intended. It’s a shame as up until that final transition, the mix of different tones works very well. It’s also shot well with a great variety of shot choices and styles, there’s a much bigger potential at work that it hasn’t quite grasped before the credits roll.

Verdict: ✯✯✯ | 6/10

Screened as part of FirstGlance Los Angeles Film Fest 2023

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