Elves (2018)

Director: Jamaal Buden

Starring: Lisa May, Deanna Grace Congo, Stephanie Marie Baggett, Amy Jo Guthrie, Melissa L Vega, Chelsea Bella, Loran Haskins, Norma Mendiola 

 

Plot: The Holiday Reaper, a ruthless killer that terrorized a small Texas town, has been caught. While celebrating, a group of friends find an elf inside a magical toy box.  When a freak accident kills one of them, they discover a group of elves have been scattered throughout town, each representing one of the seven deadly sins.  It’s a race against time to survive the elves’ wrath before Christmas ends.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 19 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing Sequel

 

Story: Elves starts when a group of friends including Clover (Congo), Tiffany (Martinez) and Leah (Baggett) add themselves to the naughty list for a laugh, only to learn they have become part of a sinister action involving a mysterious elf toy figure that appears in their lives.

Once you see the elf, you start to see people looking differently as you become intent on either killing yourself or somebody else, have the group been naughty or not, how can they escape this situation without losing too many of their own friends.

 

Thoughts on Elves

 

Characters – Clover is the member of the friends who is trying to help the rest get out of the curse placed on them, she will team up with Leah to see who placed it on them and how she can lift it. Tiffany is the loose cannon of the friends, she enjoys her drugs more than the rest, so much so it has been an addiction to her. Leah is the friend that is desperately trying to lift the curse where she believes she is next on the list. Elves does take the film in a different direction which does give us a host of characters who are mostly here to be introduced only to become a disposable character.

PerformancesDeanna Grace Congo is solid enough in the leading role of the film, Elves does have one big problem with all the performances though, we just don’t get enough time with any of the characters to let the actors make a big enough impact.

StoryThe story here follows a group of friends that seem to have become cursed by an elf figure that makes them do unthinkable actions. The story does leave you questioning a lot because this is meant to be a sequel to a film with a story that made sense, felt twisted and seems to forget the first film. now this does help the story get its own identity as a form of horror that does borrow from the weird effects from the ‘Truth or Dare’ movie and almost ‘Final Destination’. The film is short which doesn’t help because we do have a large cast and we give each character a large time to go through the moment of terror against what is after them.

HorrorThe horror we get to experience in this film is a mixed bag, the slow build and twist to the graphic action works well, then we get the moments of bad effects which don’t hit home well enough to make it scary.

SettingsThe film is set in a Texas town, that is about all we see from the use of setting in this film, nothing becomes creepy, nothing becomes important to the plot, its just a town that gets cursed.

Special EffectsThe effects at times are good for the budget, the elf faces are creepy as they come, then we get the injuries which just don’t ever come off realistic for what the film should be achieving.


Scene of the Movie –
Red fury, any scene with this character, I think her name is Sky as they never introduce her by name.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There isn’t a strong enough connection to the first film and the twisted games the Elf played in it.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing sequel, it feels like it should have been a stand alone movie over a sequel because of the lack of connection to the first film. The horror fans could easily have a good time when it comes to watching the kills though.

 

Overall: Christmas Horror has started with a lump of coal

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – B – Boy (2010)

Director: Taika Waititi

Writer: Taika Waititi (Screenplay)

Starring: James Rolleston, Te Aho Eketone-Whitu, Taika Waititit, Morangi Tihore, Cherilee Martin

 

Plot: Set on the east coast of New Zealand in 1984, Boy, an 11-year-old child and devout Michael Jackson fan, gets a chance to know his absentee criminal father, who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years ago.


Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Bundle of Joy

 

Story: Boy starts as we meet Boy (Rolleston) in 1984 he will be telling the story to us, he is 11-years-old living with his grandmother and little brother Rocky (Eketone-Whitu) who have been waiting for their father Alamein (Waititi) to come back. Boy loves Michael Jackson and wants nothing more than to see him live with his dad, once his dad returns he sees a light come into his life, but just how long will he stick around.

 

Thoughts on Boy

 

Characters – Boy is an 11-year-old boy that has been living with his grandmother and is the eldest of many children living there, he loves Michael Jackson and hopes one day for his father to return to him to take him to see his icon, he needs to learn quick once his father does come back into his life though. Rocky is the little brother of Boy, he believes he has special powers, his innocence isn’t thrown out by his father’s return though. Alamein is the boy’s father, he has gotten out of jail to locate his stolen money, he struggles to be the father he was expected to be, he knows how to talk himself out of bad situations and we are left to see if he will take responsibility in the future.

PerformancesJames Rolleston is fantastic in this leading role, he keeps the pure innocence about his character from start to finish in the storytelling process, that is both engaging and funny. Te Aho Eketone-Whitu is good in his role, he gets a lot of laughs in his story which at times is from a distance from Boy’s. Alamein shows us just how talented Taika Waititi is, he knows how to hit comedy from behind and on front of the camera.

StoryThis story follows a returning father that needs to rebuild his relationship with his kids after being away in jail, we see how the kids idolise him, but he isn’t ready to be the responsible parent. This is told through the eyes of the children which adds the innocence to everything that is going on. This does feel like a by the book story, but the way it is told makes it stand out to be truly enjoyable.

ComedyThe comedy hits well through the film, you will have plenty of laughs through the film, but more importantly you will go through the range of emotions as we follow the story unfold.

SettingsThe settings show the struggle Boy and his family are going through as they search for just hope in the future.


Scene of the Movie –
It might be the opening, but how Boy introduces to everyone is wonderful to watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Trying to impress Chardonnay

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful comedy drama, that has the full stamp of Taika Waititi on it showing his style of comedy and storytelling that you can see a mile away.

 

Overall: Charming comedy drama.

Rating