I’ll be the first to admit that the Leprechaun movies aren’t very good. I believe the original was supposed to be a somewhat scary horror flick, but was too ridiculous to take seriously. I mean, he killed a guy by jumping on him with a pogo stick. Serious horror this was not. It’s like they decided late-career Freddy Krueger was a good place to start, conveniently forgetting about the non-wisecracking creepiness of Freddy in the original Nightmare on Elm Street (and, to a lesser extent, Freddy’s Revenge).
From there, they took off into increasingly ridiculous directions: Vegas, two movies taking place in “tha hood”, and one in space for good measure. Let’s be clear: the locations were not the main problem. The main problem is that those locations were merely places to drop a psychotic Leprechaun in search of his gold. And blood. And bad puns. And a sneezing wife. And space princesses. And prostitutes, probably.
For all their problems, I still enjoy most of those movies for what they are: stupid and gory, with some creative kills. I’m not always in the mood for them, but there are times when that’s all I want, and those movies generally work just fine.
This movie seemed like an attempt to add a little darkness to the Leprechaun franchise. In going with Nightmare on Elm Street, it would be like releasing Dream Warriors through Freddy’s Dead, then going back and releasing A Nightmare on Elm Street after the fact to show a darker, more sinister Freddy Krueger. They say you can’t change the past, but the makers of Leprechaun Origins are trying to make us forget about the giggling Leprechaun of days past.
They failed. They failed horribly. We followed four main characters, and three of them were insufferable. The only one I kind of liked was Sophie, but she didn’t bring too much to the table beyond being the obvious final girl. However, I didn’t want her to die a horrible death at the hands of a drooling leprechaun monster, so that’s something.
I desperately wanted her Harvard-bound boyfriend (Ben) dead, which in turn would end their floundering relationship. You know who cares about a dying relationship between two people they have no connection to? Nobody. Not a single person.
These three worthless (and one slightly-less-than-worthless) people were traveling in Ireland and ended up in a small town. The locals were steering the group towards some historical stones, but we all know what the game really is: they want to feed these people to the leprechaun. I assumed it was to keep themselves safe – a kind of protection money – but, really, I didn’t care why these townspeople were doing anything. I looked inside myself and found I didn’t care about anything anymore. That leprechaun could have shimmied down the chimney in my house and started to eat my legs, and it wouldn’t have made a difference in my life. Take them. Take my legs. Take my life. I willingly sacrificed time out of my life (precious time!) to watch this. I’m obviously unfit to inhabit this world anymore.
Let’s talk about the leprechaun. He is played by Hornswoggle of WWE fame, but that’s not overly important. The real story is that they shoved someone into a Galaxy Invader-esque rubber suit that was so bad they opted to shake/blur the camera pretty much every time he was in the frame. Did it matter who that person was? Not really. Could’ve been anyone. Could’ve been me. I would have made for a pretty large leprechaun, but it wouldn’t have hurt the movie one bit. “Large leprechaun” would have been pretty far down the list of problems with this movie.
It wasn’t going for humor, which seems like a decent idea until you think about it. It’s a movie about a murdering leprechaun. Don’t you have to have at least a small sense of humor about it all? As it stands, it wasn’t funny and it wasn’t good enough to pull off the dark, gritty feel they were going for. They gave us no characters to cheer for. They barely gave us a coherent story. The titular “origin” was told via a 4 minute long info-dump when one of the characters read a book in a basement. There was not a smile to be had. Not an ounce of fun. Just a confusing, humorless void of a movie.
I did not like this. Please do not watch it.