IT’S A WONDERFUL KNIFE is a new Christmas horror movie out in theaters and later on Shudder. It has a message along the lines of the iconic Christmas movie this title is clearly inspired by. Read our It’s a Wonderful Knife movie review here!

IT’S A WONDERFUL KNIFE is a new Christmas horror movie that will be out in theaters first and on Shudder later. It should come as no surprise that it’s a movie with a story quite reminiscent of the iconic Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life.

But, you know, with a serial killer plot at the heart of the story. After all, this is a Christmas horror movie. One with Justin Long in a key role, where he looks (and sounds!) very different than he usually does. The runtime is 87 minutes, which is a good length for a Christmas horror movie if you want to avoid the typical lull in the story.

Continue reading our It’s a Wonderful Knife movie review below. Find it in US theaters from November 10, 2023.

It’s a Wonderful Life meets Scream

For once, describing a movie by saying it’s a hybrid of two other famous (iconic even) movies, is absolutely perfect. We meet the main protagonist Winnie Carruthers, who manages to save her small town from a psychotic killer on Christmas Eve.

However, even though this might sound like a true hero moment, people still died before she was able to stop him. Also, having killed someone – even if it was in self-defense – has left a mark.

So, when we meet her again one year later, Winnie Carruthers’ life is far from wonderful. In fact, she ends up wishing that she’d never been born. That’s the kind of wish you just might end up being granted and it’s exactly what happens for Winnie.

She finds herself in a nightmare parallel universe. One where the serial killer is still alive and actively killing. After all, she wasn’t there to stop him. Not only is she a stranger to her friends and family, but she also needs to stop the serial killer. Again!

After teaming up with the town misfit – the only person who is just happy to have a friend, even if it’s a total stranger – they reach the conclusion that she has to identify the killer again to get back to her own reality. Unfortunately, the small town is much worse off than in her own universe, so it’s easier said than done.

It’s a Wonderful Knife (2023) – Review | Christmas Horror Slasher

You gotta love this cast!

As already mentioned, we have Justin Long in this cast, and I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again; If Justin Long is in the cast, then I’m watching it! Most recently, he was also in the new (and much darker) Goosebumps series on Hulu and Disney+.

In It’s a Wonderful Knife, Justin Long plays a very different kind of character. He’s all teeth and a high-pitched voice. Also, he’s annoying as hell. It’s great!

As the lead in this Christmas horror movie, we have Jane Widdop and they end up virtually co-starring with Jess McLeod as Bernie (the town weirdo). I found Jess McLeod to have a much stronger screen presence and missed their character whenever they weren’t front and center. Both actors are good, but Jess McLeod’s Bernie was great!

You may recognize Jane Widdop from the brilliant series Yellowjackets, where I enjoyed their character portrayal (or maybe just the character) more. As the parents of Winnie, we have Joel McHale (Becky) and Erin Boyes (Van Helsing).

As her aunt, we see the always wonderful Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps, The Order), and Cassandra Naud (Shudder’s Influencer) also has a key role.

Watch It’s a Wonderful Knife in theaters – and later on Shudder!

The director of It’s a Wonderful Knife is Tyler MacIntyre. He previously directed Tragedy Girls in 2017 and the Hulu Blumhouse horror movie Good Boy in 2020. He also helped write the story for Five Nights at Freddy’s which is currently the very best-earning horror movie of 2023.

For this new Christmas horror movie, Tyler MacIntyre didn’t come up with or write the story. Instead, Michael Kennedy is the screenwriter and he also has an intriguing resume. He wrote the screenplay for the 2020 bodyswap horror-comedy Freaky alongside its director Michael Landon.

Even though it does get quite dark and moody along the way, this Christmas horror movie ends just like every other Christmas movie. It’s the law of these kinds of movies really. You can watch this horror movie and enjoy the serial killer story while also having a little classic Christmas morale to end on.

It’s a Wonderful Knife is out in theaters on November 10, 2023. You can find it on Shudder from December 1, 2023!


Director: Tyler MacIntyre
Screenwriter: Michael Kennedy
Cast: Jane Widdop, Jess McLeod, Joel McHale, Katharine Isabelle, William B. Davis & Justin Long


A year after saving her town from a psychotic killer on Christmas Eve, Winnie Carruthers’ life is less than wonderful — but when she wishes she’d never been born, she finds herself in a nightmare parallel universe and discovers that without her, things could be much, much worse. Now the killer is back, and she must team up with the town misfit to identify the killer and get back to her own reality.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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