Back in 1993, Mark Jones’ Leprechaun kick started an unlikely franchise. Starring Warwick Davis (the film’s only real high point, other than the fact it was the screen debut of Jennifer Aniston), Leprechaun– truth be told- was not all that good but the series it spawned was one of Horrors most unfathomable. From prowling space to haunting ‘da Hood’ (twice), the Leprechaun series was not exactly one to take itself too seriously. However this reboot from Lionsgate and WWE Studios approaches the material from a different angle, expelling the comic tone and approaching it as a straight (almost Slasher-esque) Horror movie. However these aspirations, as admirable as they may be, have done little to suggest this franchise has any more ideas left.
The pre-release scorn and awful trailers for Leprechaun: Origins meant expectations sunk as low as a pot of gold in the ocean and to that point you might say this film is actually not as abysmal as expected, although it is still rubbish. True the film’s decision to use make-up to create its creature (played by little person wrestler Dylan Postl– better known as Hornswoggle) is a welcomer one than cheap CGI. Also the acting is not unlikable, even if the characters the cast are given are non-existent and leave your memory as quickly as they entered. This reboot actually had potential to instil a new mythology and start a new series but there is little chance that anyone will crave any more films after this one.
The pre-title opening suggests you are in for a real stinker and while the film escapes with one or two credentials they are nowhere near enough to save this badly shot, edited and occasionally boring rehash. The creature is hardly captured coherently by the frantic shaky cam and there are times you actually wish this were a found footage flick instead. The score, aside from the odd Irish vibe, goes by unnoticed, the Horror and viscera have been seen before and done far better. Worse still, the film has some moments that feel like a fan made YouTube video and Harris Wilkinson’s script does little to help, feeling overstretched, despite the film’s average length running time.
All in all, this film is bad and in spite of the fact that it is not the out and out turkey you expected, it is still a bit of a goose. WWE Studios and Lionsgate may have hoped to reload the Leprechaun series here but the lucky charms have lost their power and this film has done nothing to satisfy those people who warned “No Warwick no point”. Leprechaun: Origins’ spontaneous ending leaves the gate open for more sequels but on this evidence, it is hard to imagine anyone being up for more or seeing a sequel with anything fresh to say. Not worth trading your gold for, to be sure.