More into frost-bitten slayings and paranoid tracks through snow-covered ground than traditional Chrismas movie fare? Well, we’ve got good news: the Jimmy Stewart classic It’s a Wonderful Life has been given the slasher treatment.
It’s a Wonderful Life is like warm hot coco on a cold winter night. The tale of a downtrodden man facing financial ruin before turning his life around reminds us of the true spirit of Christmas, which is giving, empathy, and family — in whatever form that may take.
It’s a Wonderful Knife, however, does not belong on your usual Christmas movies watchlist. The weather outside is frightful, sure, but this slasher is much scarier. Your search for alternative new movies to watch this holiday season is over.
The 2023 horror-comedy follows a girl named Winnie Carruthers (Jane Widdop). After she wishes she’d never been born, she winds up in a nightmare parallel universe that’s much worse in her absence.
Wishes-gone-wrong is a tried and true holiday film trope, particularly in the best Christmas horror movies, like Krampus. But given the slasher’s title, it’s taking its cues from It’s a Wonderful Life — before running with them, far, far, away.
If you need some convincing — the reviews aren’t amazing, so we understand if you do — the film also stars recognizable faces from other horror movies such as Barbarian’s Justin Long and Katharine Isabelle. The latter stars in Ginger Snaps, Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed, and Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (we would have gone for ‘Ginger Snaps, Again’, but that’s just us).
It has a good audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (72%), if you care about that sort of thing, while the Critics Consensus reads: “It’s a Wonderful Knife takes an enthusiastic stab at holiday-themed horror-comedy, even if it doesn’t cut quite as deep as it should.”
If you’d like to stream it in the US, you’ll need an AMC Plus or Shudder subscription. Or, you can buy or rent it digitally on paid video-on-demand storefronts like Amazon Prime Video.
Get in the spirit with our list of the best alternative Christmas movies to watch this year, or read a hot take on why Christmas horror movies shouldn’t be a thing. We’ve also got our critics’ list of the best movies of all time for you to enjoy.