Director – Josh Miller
Starring – Fred Munkachy, Tim Hale, Kinsley Funari, and Delaney Kolarick
Release Date – 2019
Rating – 3.5/5
It’s Christmas Eve and I feel like hammered shit. I’ve been sick for two days and just don’t feel much like celebrating the holidays. Normally I’m Clark Griswald during this time of year but this go around I’d rather be sleeping or watching some sexploitation flicks.
I put the sleaze on hold when actor turned director Josh Miller reached out to me to check out his Christmas themed horror short. I’m not one to turn down a holiday themed horror flick so I graciously accepted to review it. I’m glad I did because I really enjoyed this 7 minute short. Thank you Josh for allowing Horror Society and myself the opportunity to check this one out!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Santa who, while drinking heavily, visits the home of a naughty little girl to leave behind Elfie. Elfie is an elf on a shelf that has a purpose and that purpose is cut out the naughty kids. Elfie is good at his job and soon finds his intended target which is a spoiled little girl with a potty mouth. Elfie introduces her to his knife and while carving up the little girl her mother walks into the room. Elfie is delighted to see that the mother is ecstatic that he murdered her daughter. After they hide the body the two soon parties it up.**Spoiler Alert**
So, I’ll be the first to admit I had no idea what to expect from this short from first time director Josh Miller. The story was written by Time Hale and it works for the 7 minute run time.
The acting in this one is solid from a cast that I am unfamiliar with. In fact, I didn’t know who any of them were so I had to do some creeping on social media to properly name the characters due to the film lacking an official imdb page. Tim Hale does a fantastic job as Elfie. He works in the role because he does look innocent but the second he shows the knife then you know he means business.
Fred Munkachy is solid as well but he doesn’t portray a convincing drunk. I’m sure this is because I grew up in southern West Virginia and know what real drunks look like but his performance is fun but forced at times. Also, Kinsley Funari…woah. Why am I just now seeing her in a horror movie? Her performance, though short, was extremely funny. I really need to see her in more horror and not just because she is gorgeous.
The story for this one works for a short but stretched any further and the viewer would lose interest. I really like the idea of the creepy elf on a shelf turning bad and killing people. This is not the first time this story has been done. A few years ago Concept Media released a short with a similar premise. Where their short followed the doll itself this one takes a very different approach and mixes it with some comedy. It works and I found myself laughing several times during the 7 minute run time.
Finally, those of you looking for a bloody horror flick will not find it here. Sure, we get a little blood but nothing memorable in that regard. Overall, Hell on a Shelf is a fun short with a solid cast and a decent story. I may be struggling to find my Christmas spirit but this short is not. Check it out this holiday season and add a little holiday cheer to your horror viewing this time of year!