Would love to see a film where one comes alive and terrorizes a family.
He really is a creepy little fucker. There is also a female version. Bride of Elf on the Shelf. Imagine if you woke up one morning and he was in a different place in the house and no one in the family had moved him? I think OP is on to something.
A friend of mine bought one and her kids were so creeped out by it, the elf spent his first and only Christmas season locked in the trunk of the family car.
We had one in a crouching position like the one pictured at the link, that was a Christmas tree ornament. I think my mom got it free in a box of detergent. It really creeped me out as a kid and I always made sure to put it in the back of the tree where I wouldn't see it. It really did look like an evil, devious thing (creepier than the one pictured.) I don't know why I didn't just tell my mom I hated it, she probably would've thrown it away.