Editor’s note: major spoiler warning.
The only thing funny about the new Leprechaun is how bad it is at killing.
Lionsgate and WWE’s Leprechaun: Origins is the worst kind of horror movie – one that’s so generic and mundane that it’s nearly impossible to not turn off.
The problems begin with the screenplay by Harris Wilkinson, who delivers weak characters, a thin plot, and barely any new mythology.
The new film takes a group of College-bound teens to Ireland where they’re used as an offering to the town’s Leprechaun.
I think what readers most want to know is how this connects to the original Leprechaun franchise. Other than ending with a character screaming, “Fuck you Lucky Charms,” there’s no connection. The Leprechaun itself, played for whatever reason by WWE’s Hornswoggle (Dylan Postl), looks so stupid that director Zach Lipovsky has to keep putting it out of focus just to avoid the audience erupting in laughter. The most bizarre decision made by Wilkinson is that he chose to give Lep no powers. That’s right, Leprechaun is basically a feral creature that makes super annoying growling noises and hops around. But what’s even more frustrating is, if Lep is just a normal physiological creature – like a wild boar – why can’t the town’s people kill it?! This point is driven home even more when the film’s lead, played by Stephanie Bennett, easily decapitates the Leprechaun with a machete.
Beyond the rubber suit looking like shit, someone – presumably Lipovsky – thought it would be a “cool” idea if the Leprechaun had “gold vision”. This is sort of like the Predator’s heat vision, only he sees gold. But, everything is gold, which is why it makes absolutely zero sense. It’s never referenced nor explained.
What really kills the movie, though, is that the filmmakers completely dehumanized Leprechaun. It removed all of the fun, witty charm of the original franchise, and instead turned it into a bleak, dark, and boring horror movie. WWE has proven without a shadow of a doubt that they don’t understand the horror genre. They clearly think we want Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque movies, but don’t even understand why those work in the first place. Yes, the movie is dark and gritty but, it’s also ugly and stupid, and the violence isn’t entertaining nor fun. It’s easily the most trite “slasher” ever.
Further proving my point: nobody dies after first hour, but the kids are able to escape the grasp of the Leprechaun by flipping a bed on it. For most of the movie, the teens never actually interact with it, other than offscreen leg biting. The only actual encounter takes place when the locals tie the kids to trees – and even then the Leprechaun can’t kill a single person. Other than the removal of a spine, the Leprechaun straight up sucks at killing (the best death scene wasn’t even by the Leprechaun’s claws).
The only positive to the Lep reboot is the DP work and some of the Sam Raimi-inspired camerawork. Otherwise, the audience is tortured with poorly written characters (one of the girls is conveniently a history major – you know, her lifelong dream since she was two years old).
As stated earlier, Leprechaun is the worst kind of horror movie. It’s just so generic and bland that it’s not worth a second of your time. Even the worst of the original Leprechaun films is better than Origins, which will have you thanking your Lucky Charms that you turned it off.