New Horror Releases: The Elf (2017) - Reviewed

Just in time for the holidays is a wannabe slasher that makes me lose my faith in humanity. 

 I have witnessed the work of Justin Price with Alien: Reign of Man, and I enjoyed that film in a lot of ways. However, in The Elf, Price tries to tackle the ever withering holiday slasher genre that has been losing steam steadily for the last 20 years, destined for the grave. Hopefully, sooner than later. I don’t really know here. Maybe my senses are just blown out or there was nothing shocking, edgy, or mildly disturbing about this film which is clearly the way it sells itself. 

As hard as I tried to really dial into the plot (even by watching the film twice), it was very difficult to follow and truly understand the narrative of The Elf. This is illustrated by the mile wide plot holes that are ripped into The Elf’s 90 minute running time. Frankly, 30 minutes could have been thrown out of this film and with a more compressed attack, The Elf may have been more focused and convincing. Perhaps some of the long drawn out sequences of the characters stumbling around in the dark could have been omitted? 

The Elf suffers from some serious continuity errors. Seasons seem to change pretty drastically as we stumble along in this film. This again makes it very difficult to understand just what the hell is going on here. I just found myself getting more and more frustrated as I watched The Elf

There is not one performance in this film by anyone of any caliber whatsoever. Nothing convincing, nothing compelling. I felt NO emotional attachment to any of the characters even at the merciful ending of The Elf. They were just there, interacting with their environment, responding exactly how the viewer would think they would respond. 

The Elf, while having some interesting moments with the films 12 inch antagonist, feels more like a film school project where a group of people are trying to perfect a craft on the tails of an already tired and flat genre and will make the view laugh and cry simultaneously.


-Scott Lambert