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Review: ELVES (2018)

Not to be confused with the 1989 Dan Haggerty film ELVES, this is a sequel to last year’s THE ELF. The highly prolific Justin Price (THE DAWNSEEKER, THE MUMMY REBIRTH) has moved from director to producer this time and let Jamaal Burden (ABOMINABLE) make his directorial debut. The results are worse than getting a steaming pile of reindeer chocolate in your Christmas stocking.

After a pre-title killing that would have been disturbing if it hadn’t been so poorly acted, we move into the main plot. A bunch of friends are drinking and playing a game called “Naughty List” which involves them writing down their darkest secrets. Then we find out it’s not a game, it’s a deadly serious curse involving evil elves, and they’ve just been recruited.

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Unlike the original there is no killer elf doll, there is a stiff immobile one that shows up occasionally though. This time we get possessed folk with grins right out of Blumhouse’ TRUTH OR DARE. Which is where a lot more of the plot was also lifted from. There are no writers listed for ELVES and I can understand why. It would be like a guilty plea to plagiarism. They even reference it in the script, “This sounds like that movie Truth Or Dare except with Snapchat filters.”

They do toss in a Krampus masked goon to add some originality to the proceedings. But it’s not nearly enough to breathe any originality or life into this disaster. There are pretty much no redeeming elements here. The kills are dull, and the effects are weak. The acting is awful, and the plot is jumbled and frequently contradicts itself. The attempt to give it all a Biblical explanation makes no sense, but is good for a laugh. Though if you want Christmas horror with laughs, SLAY BELLES would be a better choice.

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Given the first film and the poster for ELVES, I was expecting a rampage of killer elf dolls. That’s not even close to what the film delivers. But then again, why am I expecting anything good from a film Justin Price was involved in? He seems to be proof some people don’t learn from their mistakes.

Uncork’d Entertainment will release ELVES on VOD and DVD on December 4. 

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