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Home > Elves (2021): A Review

Elves (2021): A Review

Elves

"Elves" is a Cute But Creepy Christmas Movie

Elves is a Christmas original that premiered on the Netflix streaming platform this month. This holiday offering is the brainchild of writer Stefan Jaworski and director Roni Ezra. With that, it must be said that this release is somewhat unexpected.

This film is Danish in origin, which isn’t surprising given that the history of elven creatures derives from Scandinavia. But, honestly, not everyone is a history buff. For the vast majority, adorable and cherubic holiday figures come to mind at the mention of the word elf. So, one can imagine how surprising it was to learn of this darker rendering that is rarely explored.

Not All Creatures of Myth are What They Seem

These elves are not the caricatures of your average holiday imaginings. Admittedly, this is a horror film so it’s not quite odd that the creatures would be terrifying. Roni Ezra assuredly does an excellent job of unsettling viewers. Unsurprisingly it would be no wonder if, after watching this film, one never saw elves in the same fashion ever again.

The Packaging

Elves is six episodes in length, with approximately 20 minutes of content in each segment. So, without a doubt, this movie is a quick watch. Nevertheless, short doesn’t mean uninteresting.

The opening montage is lovely and spooky. However, it is precisely the twist on Christmas favorite “Carol of the Bells” that ramps up the eerie factor. Kudos for such a creatively simple introduction that draws in the audience.

Unwrapping This Gift

As with most Christmas selections, the family is a focal point. In this Elves, viewers are never properly introduced to the family by surname. In Elven Land, everyone is referenced by their first name or traditional label, i.e., mom, dad, grandma. As with most kin in horror movies, this family also suffers from the malady of strain, strife, and dysfunction. This angst is pretty much the driving force behind the Christmas vacation.

Elves

Location, Location, Location

Elves is set on a tranquil island with breathtaking scenery as a backdrop. The countryside is perfect in nearly every way, especially as a choice for a relaxing family bonding experience. Even so, as most horror mavens know, a secluded and remote locale is always a big no.  Almost instantly, viewers can diagnose the underlying factors that cause the familial bonds to fray. Additionally, these same factors cause many problems for the island inhabitants, proving it only takes one individual to bring calamity to everyone. Unfortunately, ignorance and stark disobedience are the flavors of the day in this film.

Slow Start

The story starts slow and steady. However, it’s not long before the series is off to a bloody adventure showing once and for all that this isn’t your typical holiday flick.

Unlikely Creature Feature

The viewer’s first visual of an elf is surprising but not off-putting. Some may even describe the creature as cute in its own way. However, as the story progresses, it becomes crystal clear nothing is appealing about elves in Jarwoski’s imagination. Nonetheless, the creative team does an excellent job of developing this unsettling character from concept to design. However, the translation of the concept to physical rendering is not so great. Fundamentally, the CGI comes off as cheesy.

Breaking Bones

There are no complex themes in this series. The lessons the writer and director attempt to relay are relatively banal. The storyline is simplistic and, at times, predictable. What horror fan doesn’t know that failing to heed warnings always gets one the shaft? Stubbornness and unbounded curiosity are the typical harbingers of self-destruction. So, although creatively, signature Elves could do for a little more complexity.

The Wrap

Elves has a lot of bark but not enough bite. However, given that there are not many holiday horrors to put on horror connoisseurs’ wish list, this series makes the cut as a film worth a watch.

Elves

Elves (2021) Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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I am a writing enthusiast and Entertainment journalist. I live life with unbridled passion. And I live by the mantra love what you do, and do what you love!