Aarmand Island – | Review Score – 3/5
Creature from the Woods – | Review Score – 3/5
The Secret – | Review Score – 3/5
Beyond the Fence – | Review Score – 2.5/5
The Outbreak – | Review Score – 3/5
The Sacrifice – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Christmas season is upon us and what better time to bust out the Xmas horror than now. Elves is a six episode Danish series that blends horror with teen fantasy but it does so with varying degrees of success. On the one hand, the show does a great job setting up its atmosphere and world, with likable characters and a great visual design for the elves. At the same time, the story rockets through at such a blistering pace that it ruins what initial atmosphere and themes the show does so well to build up.
At the center of this is a cliched set-up for this Danish family. Mads and Charlotte take their kids Josefine and Kasper to the remote island of Armandso. Only, all is not what it seems. It turns out the island plays host to woodland elves, kept behind an electrified fence. When Josefine finds an injured youngling out in the woods, she takes it home and decides to take care of it. This singular action sets off a catalyst of events that threatens all life on the island.
As far as set-ups go, Elves has a pretty good one and the tone definitely flits between light bites of horror teen dramas like NOS4A2 or Locke and Key manage to conjure. It’s certainly not a scary show; not by any stretch of the imagination. It’s also not light family entertainment either, given the 15 rating and smatterings of blood. There’s perhaps one moment of genuine horror, but honestly cutting the blood out of this would not have lost anything and would have easily opened this up to a 12A rating.
Elves is a strange show because it’s one you really want to root for and get behind. The ideas are imaginative and the screenplay is done with the best intentions, designed to try and conjure up a slightly different style of Christmas spirit than the usual romcom fluff. The trouble is, this show has too many flaws to ignore.
The ending is incredibly rushed while the characters get barely any time to develop. There’s a subplot involving Kasper and neighbour Liv that just feels pointless while the time spent with the little elf and Josefine are so sparse that it lacks the emotional punch needed when the finale rolls round.
Ultimately though, Elves is a bit of a misfire. It’s a show that’s in desperate need of more time to flesh out its world and characters. Instead of a Christmas cracker, we’re left with a disappointing holiday blunder.
Verdict - 5/10