Netflix’s Danish-language horror series ‘Elves’ mixes the charm of Christmastime with the spookiness of eldritch mythical creatures. Created by Stefan Jaworski, the show revolves around a teenager named Josefine Svane (Sonja Steen) who develops a friendship with a baby elf she names Kee-Ko. However, this sets off a series of fatal events that expose the dark secrets of the island of Årmandsø, its people, and its ancient flesh-eating forest elves.
The show’s small-town setting, ominous islanders, generous use of familial drama, and focus on teenage angst deliciously heightens the horror and makes the plot highly entertaining. If you enjoy seeing a rebellious teenager causing trouble for the sake of a supernatural friendship and appreciate the unsettling aura of places with paranormal secrets, we have got some great recommendations for you! You can watch most of these shows similar to ‘Elves’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
6. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018-2020)
Developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa for Netflix and based on a comic book series of the same name, ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ is a teen horror series that focuses on the misadventures of Sabrina Spellman, a witch, as she juggles between her mortal friends and supernatural family. With abundant humor and romance accompanying the elements of horror, the show features a variety of spooky creatures, from elves to psychopomps.
Starring Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, and Chance Perdomo in pivotal roles, the show is highly entertaining and mixes well-known holiday traditions with their scarier counterparts. If you enjoyed the lore of elves as seen in ‘Elves,’ you’ll want to check out the complicated and darkly magical world that Sabrina calls home.
5. Haunted (2018-)
It is a well-known fact that the annals of history are teeming with accounts of paranormal experiences. Netflix’s ‘Haunted,’ directed by Jan Pavlacky, is a horror anthology series that revolves around the supposedly true stories of those who have been privy to supernatural sightings. From ghosts to demons, the series will keep you on the edge of your seats.
‘Elves’ uses the context of Nordic folklore to explore its mythical creatures, whereas ‘Haunted’ takes a documentary approach of sorts and focuses on personal stories pertaining to the darkly magical and terribly frightening. The show is often criticized for its unproven true story claims; however, it certainly is quite eerie since many of its stories involve curious children like Josefine.
4. The Rain (2018-2020)
Created by Jannik Tai Mosholt, Christian Potalivo, and Esben Toft Jacobsen, Netflix’s first original Danish series ‘The Rain’ has to be on your must-watch list. Mosholt and Potalivo, the duo behind the original story of ‘Elves,’ certainly know how to ace the close-knit group horror genre! The series follows siblings Simone (Alba August) and Rasmus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen) who go into hiding when a deadly virus-laden rain wipes out almost all of Scandinavia’s population.
As they try to find their father, safety, and a cure for the virus, disturbing truths pertaining to humankind and “the strangers” emerge. Just like the feeling of unease brought about by the elves and the islanders, the characters in ‘The Rain’ will make you feel unsettled due to their mysterious, shady, and morally ambiguous nature.
3. Curon (2020-)
‘Curon’ is a supernatural drama series that revolves around a creepy Italian small of the same name. Created by Ezio Abbate, Ivano Fachin, Giovanni Galassi, and Tommaso Matano for Netflix, the Italian-language show follows Daria (Margherita Morchio) and Mauro Raina (Federico Russo), twins who leave Milan and return with their mother, Anna (Valeria Bilello), to her hometown. As the twins deal with high school troubles and emotional traumas, they uncover frightening truths about their grandmother’s death and the town’s eerie lake.
Despite being a shade darker than the relationship between Josefine and her brother Kasper, Daria and Mauro’s relationship will certainly remind you of the familial drama at the heart of ‘Elves.’ Just like Josefine’s spooky circumstances, brought about when she goes from Copenhagen to Årmandsø, the twins’ lives are also upended when they move from a big city to a small town.
2. Dark (2017-2020)
Netflix’s first German-language original series ‘Dark’ is regularly hailed as one of the best science fiction thrillers on television. Created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, the series follows a child’s disappearance which leads to four families discovering the unsettling truth about a terrifying time travel conspiracy.
With familial trauma pushing the supernatural and deeply suspenseful plot forwards, the disturbing multiverse stories of this trippy series almost work as an upgrade to the turbulent relationships in ‘Elves.’ If the bonds between Josefine and her parents as well as Liv and her grandmother Karen left you wanting more paranormal-tinged family dynamics, then ‘Dark’ is the show to binge-watch.
1. Stranger Things (2016-)
If we’re talking about gutsy children investigating strange small-town happenings, how can ‘Stranger Things’ not be mentioned? Created by Matt and Ross Duffer, this critically acclaimed show revolves around a group of tweens who unearth terrifying secrets about their town when one of their own goes missing. After becoming friends with Eleven, a girl with psychokinetic powers, the kids find out about the clandestine experiments conducted at Hawkins National Laboratory and realize the truth about the Upside Down, an alternate dimension with terrifying monsters.
If you enjoyed the bare bones of ‘Elves’ — rebellious kids, creepy adults, and frightful monsters — then you’ll certainly love ‘Stranger Things.’ With a fantastic cast, phenomenal costumes, and brilliant special effects, this science fiction horror series is bound to keep you hooked right from the start. Oh, and Dustin’s friendship with Dart will certainly remind you of Josefine and Kee-Ko!
Read More: Elves Season 1 Ending, Explained