It’s A Wonderful Knife Image

It’s A Wonderful Knife

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | December 14, 2023

NOW ON SHUDDER! A Christmas classic is retrofitted with a taste for blood in director Tyler MacIntyre’s high-concept holiday horror It’s A Wonderful Knife. It’s Christmas in Angel Falls, and no one could be happier than trusty developer Henry Waters (Justin Long), who has big plans for the town. He is keeping David Carruthers (Joel McHale) awful busy at work while David’s wife Judy (Erin Boyes) gets ready for the holidays. Their teenage kids, Winnie (Jane Widdop) and Jimmy (Aiden Howard), are going to meet their buddies at the big Christmas party. Everyone will be there, even the town outcast Bernie (Jess McLeod), who no one except Winnie says hello to.

“…the body count is 27, averaging about two murders every two weeks. All because Winnie wasn’t there.”

That night, a hooded figure dressed like a cemetery angel goes on a killing spree and arrives at the party. Jimmy is almost slaughtered, but Winnie manages to kill the slasher first. A year later, it’s Christmas again, and Winnie is still reeling from the attack. Her family has moved on, but Winnie is still traumatized over killing the killer, and no one wants to talk about it. She runs out into the night and wishes on the northern lights that she was never born. Suddenly, Winnie is transported to an alternate Angel Falls, where she never existed. This means she was never there to stop the killer white angel. Winnie goes to try to find out if there have been any more murders and discovers the body count is 27, averaging about two murders every two weeks. All because Winnie wasn’t there.

The wicked, clever screenplay by Michael Kennedy not only delivers the promised blood-soaked slant on It’s a Wonderful Life but also makes vast improvements over the original. The Capra classic was originally a bomb in theaters and was relegated to a late-night flop house of reruns on TV. Through this bargain bin rotation, it eventually rose to the revered holiday status it holds now. It also has some of the worst pacing in motion picture history. All of the fantasy and Christmas material is crammed into the third act, which takes a grueling hour and 37 minutes of boring backstory to get to. And the whole point, that George Bailey gets to see how awful life would be if he hadn’t been born, lasts 15 flimsy minutes. I am convinced this gained a following due to people tuning in later in the story and repeatedly watching the last half hour when they came across it.

It's A Wonderful Knife (2023)

Directed: Tyler MacIntyre

Written: Michael Kennedy

Starring: Jane Widdop, Jess McLeod, Justin Long, Joel McHale, Erin Boyes, Aiden Howard, etc.

Movie score: 9/10

It's A Wonderful Knife Image

"…one of the best holiday slashers ever made."

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