Here’s a question. What’s the difference between the new Brit horror Elfie Hopkins (2012) and watching paint dry? Answer not much, as they both cease to hold your interest after about five minutes (less in fact where Elfie Hopkins is concerned). This film by director Ryan Andrews and starring father / daughter double-act Ray and Jamie Winstone, though with an atmospheric opening, soon looses any promise it had once the action sets (or in this case doesn’t set) in.
Elfie Hopkins (Jamie Winstone) and her best mate Dylan (Aneurin Barnard) live in a tranquil home counties village where nothing much happens – period. Until that is the mysterious and exotic Gammon family move in next door. Suddenly things become very exciting indeed – well ok, the use of the word exciting is admittedly debatable when talking about this film, but hey I’m trying my best here! Anyway, after members of the local community start to go missing Elfie and Dylan decide to investigate the new arrivals and the ‘exotic holiday‘ business they run with some very disturbing results.
Right, lets cut to the chase. Kimberley Nixon, who plays Pippa the local nympho, is about the most exciting thing this otherwise fright free exercise in tedium has to offer. This girl has just one thing on her mind – bedding the hunky Mr Gammon (Rupert Evans) at the first opportunity – toodle pip, rutting in the shires would have nothing on this filly. Going by what she shows here Nixon would be perfectly cast for any upcoming Jilly Cooper adaptations. Evans’ said Gammon is the only other saving grace amongst a cast of actors who are on the whole as lifeless as their characters are by the end of the film.
Admittedly the film looks stunning, particularly its surreal costumes which are a cross between twinset and pearls, home counties couture and bizarre medieval hunting clothes, shot through with a dash of sloppy bohemia. Filmed with a clouded effect, the whole proceedings are leant a surreal, dreamlike quality, the muted palette of which highlights the graphic gore when it does eventually arrive. These said viscerals, which consist mainly of rich and bloody reds and one effective jolt (or should that be bolt) to the system are unfortunately too little too late to save what could have been an effective and tight little shocker under the right guidance.
We are offering you the chance to win a copy of Elfie Hopkins on dvd, so don’t let my views put you off trying your luck – it’ll be a great film to have on in the background when you’re finishing painting the spare room.