- Director: Ryan Andrews
- Cert: 18
- Details: UK/89mins
You have to buy into Elfie Hopkins to 'get it'. You have to buy into the campy setting, the Enid Blyton-for-adults plotting, the piss-poor acting and the tongue-in-cheek ghastly Midsomer Murders. Yes, buying into all that is paramount if one is to enjoy this detective caper or one will think it's just shite from start to finish, which it is.
The only thing that lifts Elfie Hopkins' (Winstone) perpetual teenage scowl and killing the boredom of being stuck in the countryside is rolling a joint with friend Dylan (Barnard). Boredom isn't an issue when the Gammon family move in next door, though, as Elfie's gumshoe instincts kick in. There's something about the Gammons line of work (mysterious exotic world trips), something about their weirdo kids (they're really weird) and something about the dead body (it's really dead) that turns up in the surrounding woods not ten minutes after they move in that has Elfie in a dizzy. When she goes snooping about with the reluctant Dylan, she uncovers a terrible secret.
It's not terrible - it's boring, which is some feat when your movie is about a killer slashing up the English countryside. It has garnered an 18s cert but where they got that one from is hard to guess because this is tame stuff really - everything about Elfie Hopkins screams BBC miniseries. It drops hints of where it's going and what the Gammons are up to every five minutes just in case you pop out to the toilets on a regular basis. If only they got the tone right but director Ryan Andrews and writer Riyad Barmania allow Elfie to fall down between too many stools.
But all that could be forgiven if the lead character wasn't such a drag. A walking smacked arse with a stupid hat, Elfie is as irritating as they come. We don't know how old she is (she lives at home and best friend Dylan is thinking of leaving for university, so that puts her around eighteen) but because Jamie Winstone looks every minute of her twenty-seven years, it's hard to buy into her being Nancy Drew to his Hardy Boy, which is essential to the heart of the film.
Producer Ray is on the poster but Jamie Winstone's dad turns up as a butcher in one scene only, but that scene does feel like it goes on for an hour so the poster isn't lying.
Review by Gavin Burke | 17:51 | Friday 20th April 2012 | Movie Review
Elfie Hopkins is a strange, oddball film that will be of limited interest to most people. However, it's really not as bad as critics have made it out be. It's just one of those films that you want to like but just can't because it's ultimately not good enough. Jaime Winstone is the title character, a characteristically quirky village sleuth who suspects her new neighbours might be up to something sinister. As she investigates, she uncovers a grisly truth about what really goes on next door... With a variety of offbeat performances, costumes and sets, the film has a distinct visual style, almost like a comic book. Unfortunately, the film never really gels together and the performances are variable at best. For the curious-minded only, it's watchable but ultimately forgettable.Posted 22:41 | Fri 20th Apr 2012
OMG! - Proof of how overrated the Winstones are! VW 'vaynes' must pay a lot for adverising for Raymond Win..stone to be able to get this viewed publicly!Posted 17:26 | Sun 30th Sep 2012
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