Reviews | Written by J.D. Gillam 07/11/2017

THE ELF

Nick (Miller) inherits an old toyshop from his grandfather in a town that appears to have been abandoned and takes his fiancée, Victoria (Halabi), along with him. Nick suffers from night terrors due to a bunch of murders that he witnessed as a child.

Nick finds an elf doll in a chest in the back - where it inexplicably snows indoors - and finds an emblem burned into his arm before the doll disappears.

When he and Victoria turn up to Nick’s house, he is surprised to find the elf sitting on a shelf (yes, we know). With a snowstorm coming in on Christmas Eve, a group of family members turn up for an apparent party but they are nothing but additions to the kill count.

Can Nick, Victoria and anyone else survive the elf, which is now running around with reckless abandon and a blade in its hand?

Killer doll films can be brilliant. Tense and scary with the ability for the filmmakers to use some clever tricks to give POV shots that you just can’t get in any other kind of film. 

Sadly, a potentially interesting backstory of Nick possibly having mental health issues is completely wasted and you are left with a film that has no heart, which is what most zero to low budget horror films need. The camerawork is nothing short of shoddy, with plenty of scenes going in and out of focus. The acting is so wooden that the doll looks like an Oscar worthy turn in comparison. A prime example being near the end of the film when the remaining characters realise that there is a killer about and they have no urgency whatsoever, instead wandering around theorising or trying to open massive windows to escape instead of just smashing them.

Some of the story decisions on show here will leave you pulling your hair out and, sadly, there is very little to recommend to you, our readers.

At times, the film appears to be an attempt at an art film class project, with nonsensical shots being inserted into the running time that add nothing to the story at all. Add to all this a supposed twist ending that comes out of nowhere in the worst way and you are left with a Christmas film that you will never want to unwrap. 

Avoid, like leftover turkey.

THE ELF / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JUSTIN PRICE / SCREENPLAY: JUSTIN PRICE / STARRING: NATASSIA HALABI, GABRIEL MILLER / RELEASE DATE: 7TH NOVEMBER (VOD) 12TH DECEMBER (DVD)