The parody is absolutely nothing new, and it should be no surprise to anyone that something so tongue in cheek named It’s a Wonderful Knife is a horror comedy riff on It’s a Wonderful Life. Now if anyone other than Michael Kennedy (the writer behind Freaky) came up with this idea and concept I think it would be safe to safe the film would certainly not be as entertaining and wildly fun as it is, with director Tyler MacIntyre (Tragedy Girls) at the directors chair, this Christmas slasher is certainly going to be a welcomed addition to the holiday screams, and lands itself in some excellent company.
The movie focuses on Winnie Carruthers (Jane Widdop) as she is just trying to enjoy the holidays with her family, but the over eccentric and insane developer Henry Waters (Justin Long) wants to demolish everyone’s fun and livelihood as he wants the city to become Waters land essentially as he wants to own everything, and anyone standing in his way gets stepped on. However, there is a shiny masked killer who ends up taking out a lot of the town, until Winnie manages to catch and kill the killer, however the weight of her killing the killer weighs upon her and she cannot handle the pressure thus wishing she was never born. Since she wishes she was never born, a sprinkle and a dash of holiday wonder or in this case blunder occurs and her wish is granted. This thusly creates a diluted alternative world where the killer roams free, and the family she knew, in particular her dad David (Joel McHale) all have a different life now, and certainly not for the better. In a race against time now, Winnie must try and get back to her life before the wish to assure the killer does not continue to exist and protect the world she knows.
It’s a Wonderful Knife is a bloody good time, soaked in the rags and tribulation of a holiday classic with a slasher twist. It certainly does not reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t hate to, as Michael Kennedy has proven in the past. He manages to take a concept that’s old and overdone and turn it on its head to create something new and joyful and usually wickedly funny and wildly entertaining. This is all heightened by the cast bringing their A game and knowing exactly what they have to do to bring to life the story Kennedy crafts, as Widdop plays the hero who realizes her mistakes of wishing for her non-existence creating a world certainly worse off, while McHale’s duality in both worlds is juxtaposing each other to create a masterful performance. While Long’s unhinged characterization of pure evil is the icing on the cake, or the star atop of the tree in It’s a Wonderful Knife.
Between Kennedy’s strong script, MacIntyre’s masterful direction and standout performances from the cast It’s a Wonderful Knife manages to create a world of pure entertainment and slashes its way into the Christmas horror pile as per tradition. It’s a Wonderful Knife is a slashing good time assured to become a classic during the holiday season.
It’s a Wonderful Knife screens 9:15PM, Sunday, October 22 at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival! The Canadian Premiere with the Director and producer in attendance! Tickets are selling out so act fast! https://www.cineplex.com/movie/its-a-wonderful-knife-tadff-2023