A few weeks ago I was scrolling through Netflix’s coming soon tab and I came across “Elves". I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas movies but I do love horror movies, so when I saw a Christmas horror series I knew I had to watch it. The plot seemed very intriguing so I thought I would give it a shot. As with all my reviews, there will be some major plot points discussed and some spoilers, so reader beware. Buckle up and get ready to examine "Elves”.
A teenage girl and her family go to a remote island, Aarmand, for a Christmas vacation. They discover that not all things are what they seem and end up disturbing something on the island with their presence.
What I Loved
From the beginning of the show, I knew it was going to be eerie. I thought it would maybe be a Christmas film with some scary aspects but it was the opposite. In the opening scene I get this super creepy energy from everything happening -- a sacrifice and an alter of sorts in the middle of the woods. A movie I’d relate this series to would be "Midsommar”, one of my favorite horror films, they both have this ‘cult’ aspect to them and some very ritualistic things occur. This series isn’t terrifying by any means, but is something to have fun with while watching.
The series is set in only on the island but it doesn't feel stagnant in terms of location. It felt like I was constantly going from one place to another and it makes the island feels huge. I love that the woods are the main source of this fear but also the connection to what is causing the fear for the protagonist. This connection is really shown in the setting and by the way the characters interact with the things around them.
I really loved how everything looked in this series, it made the island truly look like this small island community. From the small shops to the fence around the woods and even the place the family rents, gives this show a very folk-like vibe that was fun to see.
What I Didn't Love
This can be seen as both a positive and a negative depending on what you’re looking for, but the series is extremely short. There are only six episodes that clock in around 25 minutes each which is fine for some people. Personally, I wish there was more in general when it came to the island’s lore and character details. I'm always someone who is greedy for more content in anything I watch because I love the details and it just didn't give me everything I wanted. I would keep asking myself, who, what, why? And then the episode would just end.
I didn't like the character development. This plays into the length of the series but I feel like I didn't get enough time to truly understand the characters. Our main character Jose and her family are our protagonists but you are not supposed to like them. I know it sounds weird but they come to this beautiful island and don't follow the rules and cause havoc. We meet all these interesting characters but we're mostly with the family and don't get to experience these characters and why they stay on this island. Even when we get to the title of this show, the elves barely have screen time especially the ones who are the scary elves.
For how short the show was I did enjoy it and will watch a season 2 if one comes. I do wish there was a more developed plot and details throughout the series. If you want an interesting short scary Christmas show, this series is for you.
I give "Elves" a 3.5 out of 5.