This is the most underrated work I have ever reviewed. I didn’t look it up anywhere first so I went straight into it without any knowledge of it’s current ratings or any prior opinions of it’s quality. After watching this little gem and then seeing that there were some mixed feelings as to it’s quality I was quite surprised. What really pulled me into this early was the very authentic feel that the film carried, a very strong 60’s-70’s vibe, the dark beauty of the locations and scenery, the wonderful colorful outfits & even the time they took to construct Elphie’s room right down to the smallest of things was all very impressive for a small budget operation. You can tell that those involved really cared about their work by their attention to detail, something that so often gets overlooked in many films.
So with all that considered it’s safe to say if you do end up disliking Elfie Hopkins it won’t be due to lack of production value.
Getting back to the story now, a lot of people will compare it to Twilight mainly because of the “Dark & serious” neighbors moving in next door with the girl that starts to investigate the truth behind the facade that they put worth, but please don’t permit my previous observation of the twilight reference scare you away. If anything it’s a Twilight spoof, but not in the Scary Movie kind at all. It is a well told tale that is quite interesting from beginning to end. The imagery & cool vibe truly make it worth a watch. I really liked the character of Elfie Hopkins played by the up & coming Jaime Winstone, yes Jaime is the daughter of Ray Winstone, talent does seem to be genetic. Just look the Manning brothers Eli & Peyton, both Super Bowl champions coming from a father who was also a pro. So it’s undeniable in many cases, Will & Jaden Smith seem to currently be the exception to the rule though in After Earth (yikes).
Ray Winstone only pops up for a few seconds once in the beginning & once in the end which was cool to see them appear together on screen for a bit. So why the bad rap on this film when there is a unique little story with cute characters whose acting, in my opinion, didn’t stick out a bit, sound & cinematography that was spot on. I also found some humor in it, it’s not really meant to be a serious, gory, scare the living hell out of you kind of film, but it does have it’s gruesome side with elements of cannibalism & moments of true bizarrity. Although there is some gore & tense moments, the film is mainly an imaginative, story driven, coming of age yarn.
I would recommend it to anyone if you’re looking for a quirky little story with some good horror elements, just don’t expect a tense, gory, edge of your seat experience. Even those that hate gore may still enjoy the story, just close your eyes for a few seconds here or there and you’ll be just fine.
Review by Jim Davis, special to Influx Magazine.
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Director: Ryan Andrews
Writers: Ryan Andrews and Riyad Barmania
Stars: Kimberley Nixon, Aneurin Barnard, Ray Winstone