Buddy the Elf may seem like an innocent, well-meaning Christmas helper in the classic holiday comedy Elf. And he is. He’s a springy, syrup-and-spaghetti-eating, Christmas-cheer-spreading joy. It’s funny then, how, with a few simple recuts the 2003 movie’s trailer, Will Ferrell’s character quickly transforms into a deranged stalker who thinks he’s Santa’s helper.
Made by Cinefix, the 2016 trailer transforms Jon Favreau’s 2003 family-friendly flick into an utterly-terrifying thriller. Scoring the trailer with a tonal soundtrack and re-splicing shots turns the story of a human raised at the North Pole who reunites with his father into an unnerving mystery about a mentally-deranged stalker. “Taken as a child, tortured, twisted, and broken,” the text for the new trailer reads. And honestly, CineFix didn’t have to do too much heavy lifting to highlight Elf’s disturbing nature. Will Ferrell’s insane performance does plenty of that work on its own. “From director Jon Favreau…” the text continues, “comes a snow-splattered thriller.”
As the music escalates, the trailer cuts to clips of Buddy crying in the bathroom, characters discussing his mental derangement, and, of course, Buddy’s terrifying smile. Finally, the trailer culminates in Buddy attacking his dad as he tucks him in.
“I walked all day and night to find you!”
Best of luck trying to see the fun, delightful side of Elf ever again.