It’s A Wonderful Knife (2023) – Review (with Spoilers)

Title Card - It’s A Wonderful Knife (2023)

“It’s A Wonderful Knife” is a bit corny, undeniably bloody, but has a silver lining to it because of its supporting actors.

General Information

Director(s) Tyler MacIntyre
Screenplay By Michael Kennedy
Date Released (In Theaters) November 9, 2023
Genre(s) Comedy



Young Adult


Film Length 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Characters and Cast
Winnie Jane Widdop
David Joel McHale
Henry Justin Long
Bernie Jess McLeod

Only pertinent information is included in the summary and review section, which might be considered spoilers. However, in some posts, the ending will be recapped and explained as long as the film or short is publicly accessible. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Content Rating Explanation

“It’s A Wonderful Knife” contains:

  • Dialog: Cursing
  • Violence: Graphic murders and blood
  • Sexual Content: No sex, but people in their underwear
  • Miscellaneous: smoking, drinking, drug use

Film Summary

Henry Waters is trying to build an empire in the town of Angel Falls. He wants to take this small town and buy properties, build condos, a mega mall, and more. However, one family stands in his way. So, when neither he nor his right hand David can convince the family to sell, he decides to kill them. However, before he can get away with it, Winnie stops him via murder, and with that, the town remains quaint, and her father, no longer under the influence of Henry, becomes a better man.

Problem is, Winnie lost her best friend, and following that are a series of events that make her wish she wasn’t born, and suddenly, she wasn’t. Henry was never killed, and for the last year, someone has died every few weeks, and the total is around 27.

So, with Winnie knowing who the killer is, she tries to recruit her friends or family, but with her not being born in this scenario, she finds herself relying on the town weirdo Bernie, who she bonds with in ways she never did in her former life. Making it seem she may not only have a fighting chance against an all-powerful Henry, who is now Mayor, but also a new best friend.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member.

Henry Waters

Like his father before him, Henry is ambitious. However, unlike his father, Henry doesn’t do sentimentality or ethics. He focuses on getting what he wants and succeeding by any means necessary.


David is Henry’s right hand, who some say should have inherited the Waters’ family company rather than Henry. But he didn’t, and as before, he is loyal, even to the point of working for Henry during the holidays.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “Becky.”


Winnie (Jane Widdop)
“Winnie (Jane Widdop),” It’s A Wonderful Knife, directed by Tyler MacIntyre, 2023, (RLJE Films/ Shudder)

Winnie is one of David’s children, his only daughter, who, unlike her star quarterback brother, isn’t really notable as an individual.

  • The actor is also known for their role in ” Yellowjackets.”


Bernie (Jess McLeod)
“Bernie (Jess McLeod),” It’s A Wonderful Knife, directed by Tyler MacIntyre, 2023, (RLJE Films/ Shudder)

Bernie is the town weirdo whose mom is the town’s bicycle and whose dad left when she was a kid.


Our Rating: Mixed (Divisive)



If you watched “Stranger Things,” Bernie is the Barb for “It’s A Wonderful Knife.” There is something about her as she gives Grav3yardgirl vibes mixed with Emma Myers in “Wednesday.” She is an outcast, but you can tell there is something in her that doesn’t need to be popular or one of the cool kids but find that one person who accepts her. And as Winnie gets to genuinely know her in the alternate world, Bernie becomes the one person you don’t want to die.

Heck, I feel that if she did die, it would cause you to be pissed since there is a point where you stop giving a damn about Winnie figuring out a way to get back to her old life, and you just want Bernie to have a happy ending.

Joel McHale’s Performance In Alternate World

I never thought of Joel McHale as a dramatic actor. This isn’t to say he has a Jim Carey in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” type transformation in this movie, but there is something about him playing a mourning dad that makes you wonder what he is capable of. Yes, yelling at someone doesn’t mean a quality dramatic performance, but there is emotion there, and with it not being followed up with a joke or means to ease the tension, you are shown potential beyond most of what he has done before.

On The Fence

Barely Caring About Winnie

Winnie is the type of lead where things happen to her, and she rarely moves beyond being reactive. With that, your attention and focus are pushed towards whoever she interacts with. Be it the killer, Bernie, or her dad, she is the least interesting person in the room who acts as a medium for more interesting characters and stories.

Tries Too Hard To Be Funny

Now, let me be clear, I’m the type to sit at a comedy show and be stone-faced, maybe smile, but rarely laugh. So for something to be audibly funny for me, means it is likely so funny it would make someone wonder if they have bronchitis. With that said, the awkward thing about this movie is you can tell it has jokes because there are small beats for the audience to laugh. Nothing too long, like an outright comedy movie or comedy horror like “The Blackening.”

However, it is clear between Long and other characters things they say or do are supposed to be seen as funny, but neither I nor anyone in the audience seemed to find anything said comical.

Justin Long

There is something about Justin Long trying to tap into Johnny Depp’s version of Willy Wonka that does it for me. It’s strange, unnerving, and really pushes the idea he makes a great villain. However, what sabotages Long as Henry is they make him into a weak villain. His death is without much of a fight, and even when it is pushed he potentially has supernatural powers, he remains vulnerable enough for a teenage girl without any powers to defeat him.

It’s almost as if they understood that Henry needed a glass ceiling or else it wouldn’t make sense for Winnie to have a fighting chance, yet, they put that ceiling so low that it makes Henry an utter joke.

Who Is This For?

If you like gory horror comedies focused on teens going against power-hungry adults? You’ll enjoy “It’s A Wonderful Knife.”


If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Totally Killer (2023)
  2. The Blackening (2023)
  3. Freaky (2020)

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.

Listed Under Categories: ,

It’s A Wonderful Knife (2023) – Overview


I genuinely hope Shudder doesn’t try to make a franchise out of this because, as a single movie, this is decent. It isn’t geared towards becoming a cult classic or someone’s top five, but its entertaining enough to sit through and enjoy.

  • Bernie - 83%
  • Joel McHale’s Performance In Alternate World - 81%
  • Barely Caring About Winnie - 74%
  • Tries Too Hard To Be Funny - 72%
  • Justin Long - 78%
User Review
0 (0 votes)


  • Joel McHale’s Performance In Alternate World
  • Bernie


  • Justin Long
  • Tries Too Hard To Be Funny
  • Barely Caring About Winnie

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