Monday Mystery Movie: ‘It’s a Wonderful Knife’ Fails as a Campy Christmas Slasher

Phot courtesy of RLJE Films/Shudder

That time of the year is quickly approaching, with snow, Christmas trees, caroling and murder. The new trend of Christmas horror movies is strange, and is proving to be very hit or miss. The latest “miss” comes in the form of a spinoff of a Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

On Oct. 23, Regal Cinemas played “It’s a Wonderful Knife” as their Monday Mystery Movie. To say this movie missed its mark is a massive understatement. 

“It’s a Wonderful Knife” is a horror/comedy releasing Nov. 10 that follows Winnie (Jane Widdop) after she saves her town from a masked killer terrorizing people on Christmas Eve. A year later,  everyone else has moved on, Winnie is still grappling with the events that occurred. 

Feeling hopeless and misunderstood, Winnie wishes she was never born  and she gets the surprise of her life when she’s transported to a world where she’s never existed — meaning she never stopped the serial killer.

Thrown into the middle of a reality where no one recognizes her and a serial killer is on the loose, Winnie has to figure out how to save her town and return to her world safely, all with the help from a social pariah. 

The concept for this film is solid, but execution is key. Although there was great potential for this to be great, “It’s a Wonderful Knife” doesn’t cut it..

Right off the bat, you can tell the goal for this movie was a campy Christmas slasher targeted to Gen-Z, but it almost tried too hard to achieve that. Within the first few minutes, the cheesy dialogue and poor acting gave this movie the feel of a comedy sketch — with no comedy. 

Acting was this film’s biggest downfall. With names like Joel McHale and Justin Long — two seasoned, funny actors — you’d think there was at least a little potential. But the rest of the cast was made up of actors with a limited filmography, which ultimately harmed its chances.

There’s many films that can benefit from utilizing less seasoned actors and unfamiliar faces, but a film like “It’s a Wonderful Knife” needed a stacked cast of experienced actors to be truly funny. I’m imagining Pete Davidson, Will Farrell, Melissa McCarthy, Nicholas Galitzine, Rachel Sennot and Dan Levy. Although they may not be everyone’s favorites, these actors are undoubtedly talented and funny. And one thing they can do better than the current cast — deliver a believable performance.

Unfortunately, the current cast made the movie near unbearable to watch. Although there were some decent good jokes, they were delivered in such a horrible way they just made your eyes roll. It was hard to believe anyone’s anger, sadness, love or excitement. 

The only truly funny performance came from Buck Waters (Sean Depner). Depner, known for his roles in “Riverdale” and “Love Hard”, had an interesting part to play as the brother of a man trying to tear down their town for major development. But every joke hit, and while it wasn’t the best performance ever, it absolutely stood out above the rest.

The other issue with “It’s a Wonderful Knife” was the predictability of it. The issue doesn’t stem from the fact that it’s a spinoff of a classic, but rather there was just no originality. You can always be one step ahead of the plot, because the writers and directors took no risk when making this film. 

To add another thing on top of an already burning pile of trash, there was an unnecessary romance that developed throughout the movie that felt forced and irrelevant to the plot and character development. A film that should have been about a killer and a girl saving her town, soon turned into a story about a girl finding love in obvious places.

The idea that every film has to have some hint of romance is very cliche and creates an unnecessary subplot. Girls don’t need to fall in love in horror movies, the real “girl power” comes from taking down the bad guy, not staring longingly into someone’s eyes. Romance just interferes with the flow of terror and makes a film less scary and suspenseful.

In my year of going to Regal’s Monday Mystery Movies, “It’s a Wonderful Knife” is by far the worst film we’ve ever been shown, topping my least favorites like “Spirited” and “Freelance”. Trust me, you do not need to waste your time with this film. The only thing you’re missing out on is seeing Justin Long with a spray tan, colored contacts and fake teeth.

This try-hard campy Christmas slasher is more like a cheesy Christmas mess. Maybe in another world, with better actors, screenwriters and CGI it would have thrived, but in our world — “It’s a Wonderful Knife” is just a disaster. 

“It’s a Wonderful Knife” comes to theaters Nov. 10, and please, don’t waste your money on this movie. If you must, wait until it hits streaming platforms. 

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