It looks like the world can’t get enough Christmas horror. After last year’s string of holiday slashers, RLJE Films and Shudder have recently acquired the rights to ‘It’s A Wonderful Knife,’ starring Jane Widdop, Joel McHale, and Justin Long. Directed by Tyler MacIntyre, with a script from Michael Kennedy, the film debuted at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It is set to debut in theaters November 10, 2023, with a streaming launch on Shudder later in the season.
As the title suggests, we can expect a bloody twist on a long-time Christmas classic. Just read the official summary from the executive producers at Independent Entertainment:
Set in idyllic Angel Falls, a year after saving her town from a psychotic killer on Christmas Eve, Winnie Carruthers’ (Widdop) 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.
It's A Wonderful... Cast
Having started out as a child actor, leading lady Jane Widdop is just gaining a name for herself. She’s best known for her role as Laura Lee in the Showtime series, ‘Yellowjackets.’ She has also appeared on 'Fresh off the Boat' and ‘Speechless’ and took on a darker role in 2020’s ‘Deadly Daughter Switch.’ ‘It’s A Wonderful Knife’ will be her first ever Christmas-themed movie.
Fans know Joel McHale best for his comedy work — specifically as the host of E!’s ‘The Soup’ and as Jeff Winger on ‘Community.’ Yet he has dabbled in horror before with his role in 2014’s ‘Deliver Us from Evil.’ This marks his second holiday film, having previously starred in ‘A Merry Friggin Christmas’ in 2014 alongside Robin Williams.
As for Justin Long, he’s no stranger to horror or Christmas movies. He has previously starred in the ‘Jeepers Creepers’ franchise and ‘Drag me to Hell.’ 2022 was a busy year for him, as he made his horror comeback in ‘Barbarian’ and ‘House of Darkness.’ Long also starred in AMC+’s holiday parody film, ‘Christmas with the Campbells’ with Brittany Snow.
And A Wonderful Crew
Though they’re both brand new to the Christmas movie market, both director and writer are seasoned horror pros. MacIntyre’s first feature film, 2017’s ‘Tragedy Girls,’ won eight awards, including three at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. And Kennedy’s 2020 film ‘Freaky’ was a box-office success amidst an ongoing pandemic. In fact, his work on this film — also produced by Divide/Conquer — led to his collaboration with MacIntyre.
Kennedy recently told Fangoria how excited he was to combine two of his favorite genres:
“I love Christmas movies, and I love slasher movies. And I’ve always wanted to combine both. For me, there’s no better way to do that than by honoring the classic It’s A Wonderful Life through the lens of blood, guts, and mayhem. Merry Christmas.”
- Michael Kennedy, Screenwriter
‘It’s A Wonderful Knife’ seems like a frightfully fun time at the movies. And you can bet the Elf Squad will shake with excitement (and fear) when it finally comes out. Until then, here is the official trailer:
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