06th Oct2014

‘Leprechaun: Origins’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Dylan ‘Hornswoggle’ Postl, Stephanie Bennett, Andrew Dunbar, Melissa Roxburgh, Brendan Fletcher, Garry Chalk, Teach Grant, Bruce Blain, Adam Boys, Mary Black, Emilie Ullerup, Gary Peterman | Written by Harris Wilkinson | Directed by Zach Lipovsky

leprechaun-origins

The WWE has had some success with their chosen films, especially horror. See No Evil was entertaining enough No One Lives, The Call and Oculus also showed that they had an eye for quality and weren’t afraid to take a few risks. Leprechaun: Origins seemed to have been picked up as a vehicle to bring their own Leprechaun inspired wrestler Dylan ‘Hornswoggle’ Postl to the big screen in an acting role, but to try to remake Leprechaun without the much-loved Warwick Davis? The warning signs were already there for how horror fans would feel about this one.

With a name like Leprechaun: Origins and a campaign that connected it to the original, using the term Origins pushes towards the thought that this may be a modernising of the comic horror but looking at his…origin.  Warwick Davis created a memorable horror character whose wise cracks made the film fun, and the fact the gore scenes were never taken seriously was arguably something of importance to the reason it worked.  This is where Leprechaun: Originsmakes mistakes, for one it takes itself way too seriously.

To be fair the film uses a legend for the creature that does make it interesting.  Add to this some generic young American tourists taking a vacation in a location that we are made to assume is Ireland the scene is set for slayings, and plenty of gore.  The locals (very stereotypically Irish in the way you never SEE a person so Irish) invite the newcomers to stay at an old cabin in the woods so they can see some local tourist spots…can you see where it is going here? Yep, soon the Leprechaun is ripping through them like they were gold bars wrapped in pretty sparkly paper.

If Leprechaun: Origins went by another name but kept the creature as the main monster there may have been less of an anticipation of what this film should have been.  In truth this is a paint-by-numbers monster flick where the creature is shrouded in darkness (to hide the weakness in its makeup), and for most of the running time you wish somebody would turn a light on so you could get a better look at what was actually going on.  It’s not a bad thing to get a good old-fashioned gory monster film, even if it takes itself too seriously, but to connect itself to a film that was completely different is just a bad move, especially when you are reaching out to those fans to pay out cash to see it.

Using this film as a vehicle to get Dylan Postl to the big screen is also a mistake as you never actually see him on screen, you just assume he is underneath all of the monster makeup.  I for one do like the idea (yet again) of the creature and the lore they build up around it, though in truth it feels more like Pumpkinhead rather than Leprechaun.  As much as people would hate it, with a few tweaks like added human tragedy and a reason for vengeance and this could have been a more believable remake of the Stan Winston classic.  Again, this is down to the fact that Pumpkinhead is a film that takes itself more seriously.  This is something of a missed chance really.

The best way to watch Leprechaun: Origins is to completely ignore any connection to the original Leprechaun movies, forget any idea of it being a tale of the origins of the creature and just enjoy it as a horror film based around the legend of the gold loving creature.  As with many so-called remakes, or even movies like this that try to cash in on a movie that many love, we still have the Warwick Davis original series of films to enjoy for the humour.  There is still room in our collection though for some mindless gore, and even if Leprechaun: Origins is something of a missed opportunity it still manages to deliver on the gore at least.

***½ 3.5/5

Leprechaun: Origins is available on DVD now from Lionsgate UK.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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