It’s a Wonderful Knife

Justin Long in "It's a Wonderful Knife"
RLJE Films / Shudder
It’s the most wonderful time of the year to watch films done in the vein of the holiday spirit. So why not put on a Christmas-related horror film this year? It’s a Wonderful Knife is directed by Tyler MacIntyre and takes the tropes of a Frank Capra classic and twists its bloody knife of Christmas cheer into its audience, never letting up.

The first twenty minutes of It’s a Wonderful Knife give us the look of a Hallmark original Christmas movie. There’s exciting Christmas spirit in the air, and yet also, there's a killer on the loose. However, our protagonist, Winnie (Jane Widdop), saves the day by stopping that slasher. But one year later, Winnie’s home life is not up to par; frankly, the aftermath of surviving a masked serial killer has left her dealing with a lot of trauma, and thus, she does the unthinkable. One night, she wanders out onto a bridge in town and wishes that she had never been born.

It's A Wonderful Knife takes what we love about the Frank Capra classic film that stars Jimmy Stewart, and it never feels like a spoof or a rip-off. Screenwriter Michael Kennedy is the perfect man to pen a film like this. He, of course, took the Freaky Friday concept and made a horror film out of it with Blumhouse’s Freaky a few years ago. The look of the film is very depressing for the next two acts of the movie, which is done intentionally and well. One massive takeaway from this film that will have people chatting about it for a while is Justin Long’s supporting character, Henry Waters. In comparison to It’s A Wonderful Life, Long is playing him as a modern-day eccentric Mr. Potter. Long has added this role to his repertoire of great genre film performances. It’s sometimes difficult to tell if it wants to be a slasher or a full-on mystery while playing on familiar tropes. Elements of the plot get clunky and leave you turning your brain off and forgetting to turn it back on. However, the humor works. How could you not make a Christmas horror film somewhat comical?

It's a Wonderful Knife is a prime example of the horror-comedy genre working in terms of Christmas-themed horror movies. Despite its flaws, it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Silent Night, Deadly Night, and Black Christmas.

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