FULL DISCLOSURE: I am not a fan of the Leprechaun series. Sure, I remember watching the first Leprechaun as a kid and digging it. It was over the top, silly horror and I loved it. Sadly that love was not strong enough to sustain for the entire series. Somewhere between putting Leprechaun in Vegas and launching him in space I jumped ship. There was only so much I could take and just like those late night one on one “practices” with my little league coach, I banished the memory of those movies in the darkest corner of my mind. While I know the series had a bit of bump in popularity (mostly with the so bad it’s good crowd) because of the Leprechaun in the Hood sequels, this was a series begging for a reboot and a reboot is what we got. Lionsgate and WWE (yes, the wrestling company) tag teamed this series and tried desperately to breathe new life in this small green series.
Four predictably interchangeable college aged kids are backing packing across Ireland. While stopping at a small town pub the group learns of ancient ruins and (because this is a horror movie) agree to stay the night in cabin and visit the ruins in the morning. Of course the seemingly good-natured townsfolk have ulterior motives and for reasons that were never 100% clear the townsfolk have offered the kids up as a late night snack to a creature that has a hardcore gold fetish.
If it sounds like you’ve seen Leprechaun:Origins before it is because you have. It is the paint by numbers horror set up we have seen a thousand times. This is a Leprechaun movie and the last time I checked it wasn’t really known for breaking new ground in terms of plot. I’m pretty sure the appeal has always been “it’s so bad it’s good.” Which was always my problem with the Lep series. “It’s so bad it’s good” only works when the film makers aren’t in on it and I can’t believe anyone that makes a movie called Leprechaun in the Hood isn’t trying to be bad…. God I hope…
Speaking of “so bad it’s good” you will get none of that here. Lipovsky has left the previous series completely behind and gone for a more straight forward horror film. If you were expecting a limerick spouting, one line spitting little green man you will be sorely disappointed. The leprechaun in question here is more animal than anything and looks like Pumpkinhead had a baby with the creatures from The Descent and was raised by James Franco’s Ape. Nothing at all like the character made infamous Warwick Davis. Actually you rarely get more than a glimpse of the Leprechaun. I’m not bitching I always dig the less is more approach, but it does make me wonder why you they would cast WWE star Hornswoggle to play Leprechaun. Seems like a waste, but I dug the fresh approach. I can see why fans of the original series would be pissed to find their beloved franchise left in the dust and judging by the IMDB message boards, holy shit, are they.
They acting is completely solid here. Lipovsky rounded up a great cast who brought more to the table then would normally require for a flick like this. Always cool to see genre regular Brendan Fletcher, even though it felt like he was under utilized. The kid (pretty sure he’s older than me… Yup just checked he is) has some serious chops. Shame to let it go to waste. But really what the hell could he have done with a story like this. Kids go into woods, Kids get eaten by monster. Pretty standard and never really ventures off the path.
I didn’t hate Leprechaun:Origins. Really I enjoyed it. It is a straight forward horror film that never tries to be more than what it is. But a very well done horror flick. I do think that WWE/Lionsgate shot themselves in the foot by naming it Leprechaun:Origins. I went into this movie expecting to see a story about how the Leprechaun got started with limericks and chasing a pre-nose job Jennifer Anniston. Sort of like eminem in 8 Mile… Honestly, I was glad that is not what I got. BUT I do know a lot fans of Leprechaun are going to be let down by this entry and even feel blatantly lied to. Because really Leprechaun: Origins has nothing to do with the original series and you can only imagine why the named it like they did…. Most likely hoping to get that pot of gold.