‘Who are the neighbours having for dinner?’
Elfie Hopkins – aka Elfie Hopkins: Cannibal Hunter – is a 2012 British comedy horror film directed by Ryan Andrews from a script co-written with Riyad Barmania. It stars Jaime Winstone, Ray Winstone, Steven Mackintosh, Rupert Evans, Aneurin Barnard and Kimberley Nixon.
Twenty-two-year-old slacker Elfie Hopkins (Jaime Winstone) is a “wanna-be” detective who lives in a sleepy village. She is a stoner and an animal lover and haunted by the death of her mother. Surrounded by her broken father and alcoholic step-mother, Elfie seeks solace and inspiration from the old school detectives in The Maltese Falcon and Chinatown.
She entertains herself, along with her geeky best friend, Dylan (Aneurin Barnard), by investigating the villagers and upsetting everyone with their imaginative allegations. Elfie’s mundane existence is thrown for a spin with the arrival of a family of trendy city dwellers, the Gammons.
The Gammons weave tales of adventure and seduce the villagers with offers of exotic hunting holidays around the world. It is not long before the villagers are flying off to the four corners of the world. Elfie, despite her best efforts, is not free to the Gammons’ charms, but soon smells a rat. Elfie and Dylan begin investigating the Gammons’ life.
Bloody violence and pandemonium soon start to rage in the village and it is no longer just the blood of animals. Elfie discovers the villagers are not making those flights and when she finally uncovers the truth, it is darker than she could have ever imagined…
“It’s Ryan Andrews’ first feature film and he’s piled it high with cinematic references. He aims to evoke the provincial charm of Miss Marple, the deliciously ironic dialogue of Brick and the blood-splattered thrills of a gaudy B-horror. You so want him to pull it off, but most of the time you’d just rather watch the movies he’s been watching.” Little White Lies
“The big problem is the character of Elfie who dresses kookily with blue streaks in her peroxide hair but is far less exciting than the filmmakers must assume, and a laidback Winstone plays her with little energy or charm. There’s a hint of camp pleasure to be gained from the film’s early soft-focus domestic scenes and late hysterics, but ‘Elfie Hopkins’ is sunk by a lame script and mannered performances.” Time Out
” …an orgy of mistimed jokes, stumbling narration and dim performances. I felt like taking my felt pen to the film’s poster and turning the overindulged star’s name into “J’aime pas Winstone”. Phillip French, The Observer
“There’s a decent support cast including Ray Winstone and Gwyneth Keyworth, who’s suitably creepy as the childlike girl next door. But Jaime feels miscast and the dialogue, direction and tone waver wildly before getting completely lost. There’s kitsch value in the themes and costumes, but any cult appeal is not likely to be the kind the film was seeking.” Empire
Elfie Hopkins was released in the UK on 20 April 2012 by Black & Blue Films and Kaleidoscope Entertainment.
Cast and characters:
Jaime Winstone as Elfie Hopkins
Aneurin Barnard as Dylan
Steven Mackintosh as Michael
Rupert Evans as Mr Gammon
Kate Magowan as Mrs Gammon
Julian Lewis Jones as Harry Hopkins
Kimberley Nixon as Pippa
Gwyneth Keyworth as Ruby Gammon
Will Payne as Elliot Gammon
Ray Winstone as Butcher Bryn
Richard Harrington as Timothy Jenkins