08th Nov2018

‘Evil Elves’ Review (aka Elves)

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Deanna Grace Congo, Lisa May, Amy Jo Guthrie, Stephanie Marie Baggett, Lily Martinez | Directed by Jamaal Burden


In my unofficial quest to watch every single Christmas horror movie ever released, I have started early this year with a few films. Evil Elves (to be released as just Elves in the US in December) is the latest of my festive viewings for Nerdly.

And this is actually a sequel to a movie I have yet to see, simply titled The Elf. As far as I could tell, it doesn’t matter that I have so far missed out on the first one. Maybe surprisingly, the story doesn’t actually involve a whole lot of elves killing people. There’s kind of (not really) a bit of that, also some possession and even a Krampus killing people.

Unfortunately this doesn’t add up to as entertaining a film as it might sound. Acting performances are okay at best,with no-one really standing out. The script isn’t a big help for the actors either. It just seems a bit all over the place. Like someone wanted to make a Christmas horror movie, had some cool holiday-themed deaths ideas and then loosely connected it all together. Not a whole lot is explained – the elves and the Krampus, how people become possessed and when they are possessed. Why is it all happening?! Any explanations given (and there’s not much) are pretty poor. Basically, if you get put on the naughty, you’ll end up dead.

It’s even a bit of a copy of several films, from It Follows (which actually gets a mention in the film) to Final Destination.

As for the villains, they’re not the most scary but it could be a lot worse. The elves are just puppets that don’t come to life or move. Yes they look a bit creepy but that’s about it. The Krampus is a guy or girl wearing a Krampus mask and the possession moments are hit and miss. Basically it turns the victims face elf-like, distorting their eyes and mouth. Which at times, is actually quite effective. This is more than can be said for the CGI for some of the death scenes, which is just really bad. Making possibly cool death scenes look awful.

But, enough of the negatives because their are some positives. Evil Elves is perhaps the most Christmassy horror film I’ve ever seen. It has the decorations, the lights, the presents, the snow, deaths involving festive objects and lots of Christmas music. For me personally, this is definitely a good thing. The music, for the most part, works really well. There’s a good scary genre score that sometimes is too loud for the scene but is mostly good but also a great use of classical Christmas music which I loved. And the deaths scenes were actually quite inventive and perfect for this time of year. Death by Christmas tree, death by wrapping ribbon, even death by candy cane – they’re all in Evil Elves.

So its a shame that even at about 75 minutes in length, Evil Elves barely managed to keep my interests. I would have been quite happy seeing that characters killed off but the possibly entertaining deaths don’t look as good as they should or are shot badly or are ruined by CGI. And the killers aren’t anywhere interesting enough.

Which means Evil Elves won’t be on my list of Christmas horror movies to watch each year.

Evil Elves is out now on DVD in the UK. The film, under the title Elves, is released on DVD and VOD in the US on December 4th.


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