Just as I was about to give up on seeing anything new, horror-wise, for Christmas I found a gift waiting for me in my e-mail, a screener for the new horror film The Elf (2017). I was pretty stoked when I found this screener so I threw it on and quickly settled in for some Xmas horror and horror was exactly what I got...
The Elf is a horror film with a ninety-minute runtime that was written and directed by Justin Price. It's rated NR (not rated) but has violence and language. As far as the story goes, Nick just inherited an old toy shop and as he's looking around it, he finds a cursed elf doll sealed inside a chest with a naughty list of his family's names on it. Soon, Nick discovers that the elf was an evil conduit meant to unleash a supernatural killing spree during Christmas holidays, by whoever set it free.
Now, the description of the film sounds pretty cool, which is why I was looking forward to watching it and I'll admit the opening of the movie caught my attention, but everything went downhill really quick from there. The story didn't feel complete like they had an idea of what they wanted to do but just came up with the rest of the story as they went. When it was all said and done it felt like very little effort was put into how the finished product looked and sounded.
It was pretty hard to get through this movie and a couple of times I almost called it quits. The opening really hooked me, but that lasted for a few minutes. The rest of the movie had a lot of trouble holding my attention. The pace of the film jumps back and forth from dragging in spots to quick actions, which doesn't look very good at times due to the camera work.
The cast is Gabriel Miller (Manifesto), Natassia Halabi (Born to Be Blue), Lassiter Holmes (The Cloth), Lisa May (Dark Moon Rising), Viviana Ozuna (The 13th Friday) and Joseph Daniel Ellis (The Whole). I think this is the first time I've ever said this because I try to find something good in everything, but the entire cast's acting was horrible. There was no chemistry between anyone and the cast seemed like they didn't know what was going on during the scenes, which made me feel better about not being the only one lost on what was going on.
The special effects were bad and that pretty much covers it. The camera work only made things look worse due to focus and lighting issues throughout the whole movie. Slow camera pans that had trouble finding the mark didn't help either.
Overall, if you haven't seen The Elf... don't worry about it.