The Elf starts with an excellent festive title sequence, sadly, it ends abruptly and causes a bit of stumbling in trying to figure out the scope of the opening act, as Justin Price, director and writer stretches the scenes with the characters never quite getting their footing nor enjoyment for the fans of this unique subgenre in horror. Those familiar with Price’s previous works Forsaken (2016) and The Cloth (2013), might find this adventure a tad misplaced, but he did after all put forth two films in 2017, the other was The 13th Friday, however if you more holiday cheer this movie comes available from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Sometimes one finds a movie with interest in box art and theme, yet it all seems a tad rushed and storyline struggling to gain the proper footing, then again it might be the shoes an elf wears. Whichever the case, this tale for Christmas definitely deserves a lump of coal, why? Let’s review the plot. Basically, a curse surrounds a toymaker (long since dead) sealing souls of children in dolls, and hence the possessed Elf. The story starts with the main couple of the story Victoria (Natassia Halabi) and Nick (Gabriel Miller) wandering through an antique store for what seems stagnate period of time, the pacing seems off, their individual actions misguided. How so? They walk around the store and find most objects covered in sheets (a little hard to sell covered items) they soon find a journal of a toymaker which gains Victoria’s wonderment while Nick dismisses it as he walks into a back room locating an Elf, meanwhile she learns of the curse attached to the doll. Oops too late the curse attach itself to him, since he played with it, then Victoria gets a phone call, she tries to talk yet it all seems forced, and then gets a gotcha scare moment very abruptly ending the ill-timed call. Once home suddenly, the elf appears on shelf, as Nick just stares at it and Victoria removes it only for it to return a few more times. Suddenly evening arrives along with a surprise Christmas Eve party complete with Victoria’s family, her parents, brother, and grandparents though they won’t be around long enough to see Santa all thanks to the Elf. However, one present isn’t there for the cheer and happiness rather have a foreboding message for Victoria about Nick’s mysterious past. Just as the weirdness factors start up, a group of mismatched and talent show rejects come to sing off key Christmas carols, thankful The Elf slaughters everyone with various means include string lights, equally polite no one in the house hears any torturous screaming. Later inside one scene that starts with promise ends quickly with tension dragging onward far too long, as the Elf finds itself in wrapped presents (first how did get in there and then why) – never mind unimportant as it struggles to free itself. Fret not the story leaves the door open for a sequel.
The shots for the overall story follow the basic steps in filmmaking, but it all leaves the audience aching for more, with the angles repeating themselves again and again. It feels that the pacing a smidge off and unable to provoke the story into more of a horror thrill ride, lacking tension, delivering an aimlessly plodding storyline, which make snow angels more exciting. In addition, the lighting and sound qualities effect the production, then factor in the dialogue and it feels more disjointed than a smooth production. A mere facing grace the CGI work on the Elf works fairly well, not flawlessly but better than expected.
The elf is not Chucky nor is it any of the Puppet Master Collection, simply do not take the time to unwrap this present, you deserve more than a lump of coal. If fact for only the second time in my short time of writing horror movie reviews, noting that’s over 380, the rating for the film lower from what it was when I started (it was 3.3).
IMDb Rating: 2.8/10
Baron’s Rating: 2.5/10