It’s a Wonderful Knife Review

It's a Wonderful Knife
It’s a Wonderful Knife Review
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It’s a Wonderful Knife is a good name for a slasher movie at Christmas. So good, it is not surprising that no one else thought of it (That is the kind of pun that looks like it should be used and sounds obvious). But unfortunately, nothing else about the movie lives up to this level of inspiration.

In its opening sequence, the film glows with warm glowing incandescent light characteristic of hallmark or lifetime Christmas movies. It’s full Angel Falls town square full of smiling happy citizens in holiday sweaters. Angel Falls is having its annual tree lighting celebration on Christmas Day everything looks perfect – at least, on the surface (Things have been going on within families behind cameras but there is no point here). Then “The Angel” shows up, an anonymous killer wearing a white cape and a smooth white featureless mask during a noisy party held in Cara Hana Huggins’ honor on the eve of Christmas day. This being a slasher movie, you can guess what happens next easily.

After a quarter of an hour, the title card appears and then the story begins. Turns out Cara isn’t the main character in It’s a Wonderful Knife as we would’ve expected- her BFF Winnie Jane Widdop)is. It has been one year since Cara was murdered by someone who manipulated them into doing so at said party above, and yet, her family doesn’t want to talk about it with Winnie who feels disgusted due to their coldness towards this matter. She storms off in that rebellious teenager way.

It’s a Wonderful Knife Trailer

Upon coming back home after The Angel failed to be caught last Christmas and continued causing terror amongst denizens of Angel Falls; she discovers that her parents do not even know her anymore; her brother died and there are more boarded windows than people left in what looks like some shanty town which had been burned all over herein this backlot. It is almost as though… she was never born. The idea of “It’s a Wonderful Life, but with a killer” takes over from this point and plays out in the expected manner right down to giving Winnie a Clarence who knows he’s Clarence (and says so at one point) in the form of Bernie Jess McLeod). Their relationship undergoes an unexpected twist towards the end of the film without giving too much away.

Michael Kennedy’s script didn’t limit him only to holiday-season staples: besides the Scream-like intro, there are also traces of I Know What You Did Last Summer and other ’90s teen horror movies here. But Kennedy himself casts the biggest shadow over It’s A Wonderful Knife; he also wrote Freaky, Christopher Landon’s 2020 tongue-in-cheek gore fest that riffed on Freaky Friday. And it is this that shows how much agility is wanting in this film relative to Freaky which Macintyre directs so well. He has shown great knowledge and appreciation for suspense as an art through his previous works including Tragedy Girls (2017), not least of all during his first kill scene. Finally, it should be noted that It’s A Wonderful Knife just needs its foundations for slasher movie survival (no pun).

Stunt casting does little to lighten the sometimes-leaden stabs at comedy. Joel McHale’s highlight as Winnie’s dad is somehow a serious moment; though Justin Long relishes his role as a villain, he appears to exist in another reality from that of his co-stars who live within the snarky, self-conscious dimension on which the majority reside.

It’s A Wonderful Knife, despite a few good performances, is not the most tight or polished of works by its writer and director. Widdop puts a heroic effort into her final-girl role while Katharine Isabelle is charmingly unhinged as Winnie’s drunk lesbian aunt. (The only people who believe Winnie’s story are lesbians, a reflection of Kennedy’s queer sensibility.) Additionally, the kills are enough to satisfy die-hard slasher fans. Can such a mistake ruin their careers? Maybe it won’t be that serious for them. They’ll just start afresh because that is what they always do.


The Christmas slasher It’s A Wonderful Knife commits to its pithy premise — “It’s A Wonderful Life, but with a masked killer” — with self-aware wit. Solid fundamentals carry the film’s suspense scenes, but the comedy produces more mixed results.

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