Movie Review - Leprechaun: Origins
The latest franchise to try to reinvent itself is the Leprechaun series, with WWE Studio's newest release, Leprechaun: Origins. The film serves as both a prequel and a reboot for the films all in one. It seems like the goal was to make the franchise fresh for a new generation of horror fans, and an attempt to stray from the silliness of some of the later films and make the series scary again. Now, if I am being honest, this worried me a bit, as the movies have never been scary, and I thought the silliness was most of what made them entertaining. I wanted them to take it seriously, though not too seriously. But the film makers behind Leprechaun: Origins made damn sure they didn't sacrifice any of the fun in the process. And for me, that made all the difference. I would absolutely recommend this film to all fans of the series, even if Warwick Davis isn't in it.
Two young couple on vacation from the United States decide to take a backpacking trip across Ireland. When they head into a local pub for a drink they encounter a few townspeople, one of whom offers to take them to see one of the villages 'hidden' treasures that none of the other tourists know about. The four friends jump at the chance, and take full advantage of their new friend's hospitality when he offers to set them up in an old cottage on the edge of the woods. But the fun doesn't last long, as they quickly discover that the idyllic little town is hiding a terrible secret. And learn one of Ireland's oldest legends isn't just a folk tale, but a horrifying reality.
The cast was solid and clearly understood the movie they were making. Fans of the show Supernatural will recognize several of the actors: Melissa Roxburgh, Andrew Dunbar, Stephanie Bennett, and horror mainstay Brendan Fletcher. Each one does a fine job of grounding their character in reality, despite the implausible circumstances of the film. First time writer, Harris Wilkinson, does a commendable job of setting up the perfect framework for the action without over complicating the legend. The dialogue is well-written and he avoids making the film feel overly cheesy. Director Zach Lipovsky manages to take the film in a much darker direction for this reimagining, and the resulting product should breathe new life into the franchise. My only issue with the film was the appearance of the Leprechaun itself. They may have gone a little too far in trying to make it look more like a monster than a deranged version of the guy trying to steal your Lucky Charms. It's not terrible, just a little over the top. The reason I didn't mind it though, was the film makers were smart enough to only show the monster sparingly, leaving the rest to the imagination.
If you enjoy the rest of the Leprechaun series, I have a feeling you'll enjoy this one as well. Even if it is a much different film than any of the other movies in the franchise. It is now available on DVD and VOD, pick it up and see what you think... though I did still miss Warwick Davis. Cheers.