Christmas may be over but there's always that one last hurrah as the tree is coming down and the lights are twinkling their last for another year. It may be a card, a little gift, or that last bit of candy the kids missed but there is always something left behind as the trappings and decorations are put aside and life returns to normal. So imagine my surprise when I opened my email today and found a link to The Thing on the Shelf had been sent to me for review. This Christmas themed horror film from Darkly Films. It's short, simple, and surprisingly child friendly and it's the absolute best way to wrap up the holiday season that I could find.
At only a minute twenty six long it doesn't carry a lot of story or character development but it also doesn't need to. The idea is simple and takes a more modern, and frankly creepy Christmas tradition and brings it to life on screen. A little girl is tucked into bed with her "not and Elf on the Shelf" elf looking over her ahead of Christmas. But Santa's little helper is more than just a bit of imaginative storytelling it seems. You can watch The Thing on the Shelf now on YouTube.
The Thing on the Shelf is exceptionally simple which is why it works so well. Parents who take part in this particular holiday tradition imbue these artificial items with an unintentionally malevolent force. The elf doll is now a constant watching eye, waiting to catch a child misbehaving so that they can be punished accordingly on Christmas day. Add to it the already uncomfortable relationship between living toys and the horror genre and you have something exceptionally creepy.
For folks with kids who are budding horror fans, The Thing on the Shelf will make for excellent holiday viewing next season. Be sure to check out Darkly Films on YouTube.
Dan is an author, editorialist, podcaster, and horror culture & lifestyle correspondent from the Southeast. You can find Dan's stories at Danno of the Dead Blog and through PDI Press.