Having read my colleagues review of 'The 13th Friday' I can identify a number of similarities with Justin Price's latest release 'The Elf' sadly sharing common downfalls.
Nick is haunted by night terrors stemming from a tragic murder he saw when he was young. After inheriting an old toy shop, he discovers a cursed elf doll sealed inside an ancient chest with a naughty list of his family’s names written on it. He soon discovers that the elf was an evil conduit meant to unleash a supernatural killing spree during the Christmas Holidays by whomever set it free.
The flavour of the year appears to be low budget cgi, its everywhere!! The list of offenders is far too hefty to lay the blame on any particular title but there has been a smattering of entries all determined to run before they can walk, The Elf is no different.
If there's one word I could use to summarise The Elf it would be bland, it takes an hour to present any material of interest and the finale struggles to add any value to the film whatsoever, unfortunately this is a prime example of a film going through the motions.
Strangely the plot is something the film does have going for it, nonetheless when it is being conveyed by the cast lacks any sort of enthusiasm, both delivery of the dialogue and the explanation of the story is the films breakdown, further highlighting zero chemistry between the cast.
The doll (which should be the main event) lacks any presence worth noting - for the majority of the film at least, it has one scene where it poses some threat, creeping around in a dark unlit basement, mumbling its backwards evil spiel as he does so, however this is the best the film has to offer so make the most of it. The reality is the doll just isn't that menacing, I was half expecting one of the cast to punt the little elf - job done, it wasn’t to be.
On a positive note when one of the victims is mummified in a bed sheet and given a present tag it was unquestionably a highlight - a nice touch for a Christmas horror.
Overall The Elf does have brief moments of a good indie-film but it doesn’t save much face, the plotline suggests a paranormal theme but the reality is a poor man's slasher where the elf is simply picking off the bumbling cast one at a time.
Being a kid at heart the hunt for Christmas horror continues, last year I was hoping to add 'Krampus' to the list and this year is wide open for suggestions but I can rest assured 'The Elf' will not be on the nice list.