Elves, just about a staple of Christmas as hot chocolate and candy canes. These days, when you think of Christmas elves the images of Santa Claus and toy factories are the first things to come to mind. They’ve been explored over and over again in other holiday movies. But in the upcoming Netflix series Elves, it looks as if they’re heading back to their roots!
While a lot of folks love to surround themselves in the classic imagery and rituals of Christmas, many aren’t aware that a good percentage of those traditions started off as pagan rituals and folktales, and not all of them were very jolly. Elves appears to be a tribute to those old stories, and put a little bit of spice back into those old tales of the elves from long ago. Netflix has shared the following synopsis with Nerdist about the new series.
“Hoping to reconnect over Christmas, a family of four travels to a remote island in the Danish archipelago, only to find it controlled by members of a strongly religious community living in balance with fierce creatures in the woods revealed to be … elves. Real, monstrous beings that inspired the folklore and myths we all know. When the girl in the family finds and brings home a baby elf, she inadvertently disrupts the balance and throws everyone on the island into a life-or-death battle for faith, family and pure survival
Elves was created and written by Stefan Jaworski, whose previous work includes The Devil Below and Those Who Kill. The series was produced under Miso Film. The cast includes Ann Eleonora Jørgensen, Rasmus Hammerich, Vivelill Søgaard Holm, Sonja Steen, Peder Thomas Pedersen, Lukas Løkken, and Lila Nobel. Tesha Crawford, Director of Netflix Internal Originals in Northern Europe, had this to say to / Film about the project.
“There are a lot of reasons why we are excited about this new Danish production. First off, teaming up again with our long term partners at Miso Film – who have proven to be such great storytellers. Secondly, tapping into the local myths that have always such great resonance in the Nordic region and being able to transform this into a modern-day Christmas story- with a little touch of horror. “
Using folklore to tell a horror story usually mixes as well as cookies and milk. There are many stories of elves in legend preying on unsuspecting victims, children and adults alike. A popular example is the German poem Erlkönig, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which tells the story of a father taking his sickly child home. As they’re riding through the forest in the night, the king of the elves tries to coax the son to come away with him. The son describes what the elf king is saying to his father, but the father tries to comfort his child by saying that he is only seeing shadows and trees. The poem ends with the father finishing the journey, but with his son dead in his arms.
Elves appears to be drawing from stories such as that with this project. Fans of dark fairytales, such as Guillermo Del Toro’s critically acclaimed Pan’s Labyrinth, will not want to miss out on this upcoming series. Elves comes to Netflix for streaming on November 28, 2021.