It’s A Wonderful Knife

It’s Christmas Eve in Angel Falls, and Henry Waters’ wish list for Santa is ambitious and increasingly ruthless, Roger Evans the elderly owner of a landmark house whose death would allow Henry to obtain the historic property and develop the land, the execution of his plan derailed when he subsequently attacks the party where Evan’s granddaughter Cara is spending time with her resourceful best friend Winnie Carruthers who manages to electrocute him with the power feed for the Christmas lights.

A year gone past, the memory is still raw for Winnie who has received little support from her family and is harassed by Henry’s brother Buck who blames her for his death; her cheating boyfriend the last straw, under the aurora which hangs over Angel Falls Winnie wishes she had never been born, and in a moment the town forgets she ever existed and all her deeds are undone, the Angel still stalking victims and Winnie the only person who knows – but cannot prove – his identity.

Written by Freaky’s Michael Kennedy, It’s a Wonderful Knife is a brilliant premise, a horror comedy twist on seasonal classic It’s a Wonderful Life which takes its concept of the echoes which come from seemingly minor actions and allows them to be stamped into the frozen ground by director Tyler MacIntyre who makes it a frustratingly flat and plodding affair when it should be dashing through the snow, dull and drab when it should be sparkling with all the glitter and wit the season demands.

With Yellowjackets‘ Jane Widdop slow to grasp the profound repercussions of the absence of Winnie on Angel Falls, despite the premise being familiar through seventy five years of pop culture emulations from Star Trek’s Yesteryear, Moonlighting’s It’s a Wonderful Job, Donnie Darko and Doctor Who’s Turn Left to say nothing of the eternally repeated iconic original the premise is spoonfed to the viewer in a manner which consumes time which would have been better spent on making the characters interesting.

Consciously inclusive diversity not necessarily equating with actual personality despite a good cast which includes Becky’s Joel McHale as Winnie’s father David, American Mary’s Katharine Isabelle as her aunt Gale, Influencer’s Cassandra Naud as Gale’s wife Karen and The X-Files’ William B Davis as Roger, resisting corporate values, as the oily and ingratiating Henry Waters only Yoga Hosers’ Justin Long seems to have been given the memo that the film is a comedy despite what would seem the only way to play situations set up to be ridiculous.

Winnie’s wish prompted by what seems to be little more than a bad day in the grander scheme of things, nor does It’s a Wonderful Knife function effectively as a slasher played straight, the Angel having claimed over twenty five victims with a clear pattern linking them yet not one of the painfully docile townsfolk of Angel Falls carrying a taser or even a set of knuckledusters, never calling the police and making no attempt to secure their homes and workplaces, less flocks watched over by shepherds as lambs to the slaughter; if they care nothing about self-preservation, why should anyone else?

It’s a Wonderful Knife will be available on Shudder from Friday 1st December