Movie Review: The Elf (2017)

Synopsis: Victoria loves her fiancé, Nick. But, with their wedding date approaching, she begins to have cold feet about a man that never talks about his past. Things get worse when Nick inherits a toy shop and accidentally releases a possessed elf doll that is determined to kill the people on its "naughty" list.

Who's in it? The movie stars Natassia Halabi, Gabriel Miller, Lassiter Holmes, Lisa May and Joseph Daniel Ellis.

Review: I originally was going to watch another Marvel superhero movie with my wife last night. But, as I was scrolling through Disney+, I realized I was actually in the mood for a horror movie. I found this one on Vudu and, figuring it was a good choice for this time of year, went with it.

I've seen quite a few low-budget horror films and, since I don't expect them to have Oscar-worthy material in them, am pretty forgiving when it comes to the genre. That being said, this film, simply put, was just plain awful.

In fact, this movie was so bad, I'm not even sure where to begin. So, I guess I'll start with the overall plot. On the surface, it should have been pretty simple, a possessed elf doll that kills. And, had it been just that, it might have actually been a better movie. Instead, the writers decided to throw in stories about evil spirits and the kidnapping of children's souls (which were then apparently trapped inside old people's bodies). Oh, and then there was the part about Nick (Miller) supposedly killing his family when he was nine, which probably had some importance but honestly just seemed like an excuse to eventually blame him for the various deaths.

Not helping this was the horrible acting. Nick sounded like he was doing a bad William Shatner impersonation and Victoria (Halabi) just seemed detached throughout the movie, as though the actress was just reading the lines while thinking about getting a new agent. The cast members that were brought play her family weren't any better. As I told my wife, everyone in this film seemed awfully calm and emotionless considering their lives were supposedly at risk.

One of my other complaints about this movie was the music, which seemed to play with no breaks and at a volume that made it very hard to understand conversations. The latter was kind of a big deal thanks to the decision to make the plot more complex than it needed to be.

Then there were the various continuity errors. This is something I typically ignore with horror films (and most other films) because I think most other people make too big of a deal out of it. But, they were so numerous in this movie, it was impossible to do so. This included the movie not being able to make up its mind about whether there was a snowstorm or whether it was night or day.

Probably the only positive thing that came from watching this movie was the laugh my wife and I got when Victoria took Christmas cookies out of the oven and we realized the oven not only baked the cookies, it frosted and decorated them too. I honestly think a movie about that magical oven would have been more enjoyable.

Final Opinion: This is an awful movie, even by low-budget horror film standards. Don't even bother taking the time to watch it.

My Grade: F


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