Elf is a staple of my Christmas celebration; I've seen it probably fifty times, and I usually watch it at least twice each Christmas season. It's one of those movies that, if it's on television, I can't not watch it. I'm addicted, so shoot me.
It doesn't really make sense, though - I love horror, but I also love Christmas movies. Go figure - besides the correlation between horror and Christ's crucifixion and zombie-like rise from the dead, the two don't really go hand in hand.
But watching Elf again last night, I had a few ideas on how to turn the film about a lovable human named Buddy who sets out to find his dad in the glitzy, bustling city of New York into a terrifying horror film about Buddy the vicious, serial-killing man who simply believes he's from the land of the North Pole.
1. Buddy becomes a child stalker
You know that touching scene where Buddy waits outside of school for his step-brother, stating he's waited the entire day just to walk home with him? In a different context, that might be misconstrued for stalking and child molestation charges might ensue.
Buddy is a simple man, but perhaps there's more going on in his head. Maybe his fixation on maple syrup, gum drops, and Christmas presents, as well as his child-like persona, are all a farce to lure unsuspecting children into his malicious web. In this version of Elf, Buddy would bring his stepbrother home, but instead of chopping down a tree in Central Park, Buddy would chop other little pieces off of his stepbrother. The resulting film would be Buddy's run from the police, the search for his final victim, and an ending that would truly shock audiences - that the boy was wrapped up underneath the Christmas tree the whole time.
2. Buddy has an Electra complex
Elf is mainly about Buddy finding his father and his father recognizing that his son is actually an elf. That means that a lot of the film focuses on father-son bonding, with slapstick antics that occur because Buddy thinks he's from the North Pole.
What if Buddy begins to fixate on his father a la Psycho? Perhaps his fascination with his father stems not from the distance between them all of these years but from the fact he really has an Electra complex and is competing for his father. In this version of Elf, Buddy's love would go a bit too far - he would kill off his stepmother in a jealous rage, then vie for his father's affection in a sexually explicit scene of forceful rape. Having committed such a serious act, Buddy kills his father, and then assumes his identity, attempting to pass himself off as his father at his publishing company until Christmastime, when guests attend a party his father was throwing and find the bodies of Buddy's parents tucked away in a back closet.
3. Buddy's failure at making toys sends him on an elf-killing spree
We have to admit that, at the beginning of Elf, Buddy's a little unstable. He doesn't fit in with the rest of the elves at the North Pole; he doesn't have the natural talent of making toys like the other elves do; and he can't even fit inside rooms without having to slouch or risk smacking his head on overhangs.
What can an elf do? Well, if you don't have the sort of willpower that better people have, you go on a huge killing spree, tossing elves around like fluffy pieces of cotton. There would be something very cathartic about seeing Buddy lose his cool and simply rampage, stomping on elves left and right with his size fourteen shoes and breaking elves in to with his relatively massive hands. The North Pole police would obviously come to get Buddy, and Santa would have to step in, but Buddy would take Leon the Snowman hostage in a sauna before the whole movie came to a close.
4. Buddy's courtship of Jovie is less than chivalrous
There are some awkward moments between Buddy and Jovie before they finally begin to fall in love with each other. I'm mainly talking about the scene where Buddy walks into the bathroom while Jovie is showering, singing the (actually really creepy) song "Baby It's Cold Outside." This is a perfect chance for Buddy to show the sexually deviant side he's always kept hidden away (perhaps unknowingly, since he was never attracted to other female elves).
At this point, Jovie would see that Buddy was in the bathroom with her, and Buddy would begin inching closer to the shower until he pulls it open, drags her out dripping wet, and brings her back to his stepfather's apartment. Envision a female revenge story akin to I Spit On Your Grave, except this time the film is infused with all kinds of Christmas references. 'Tis the season and all that good stuff, you know!