Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Franchise Review: Leprechaun: Origins (2014)

Another franchise is in the can, fiends, and it's time to say goodbye to the Leprechaun. Well, actually, we said goodbye to him with the last film, because things went in a much different direction for this "origin" story. More on that later, though. I enjoyed the Leprechaun movies a lot - there's no doubt that Leprechaun 3 is my favorite and by far the most fun film of the bunch - but all of them had their own quirky charms. Haha. Charms. Anyway, let's finish things up with Leprechaun: Origins.

Four young friends backpacking through Ireland come to a small village that promises to hold exciting historical sites. Staying overnight in a local cabin, the kids suddenly find themselves the prey of an ancient creature that is out for revenge and especially blood - and it's not the only foe they have to fight as they try to survive the night.

So this is definitely a complete 180-degree turn from all of the other Leprechaun movies in that this is the first film of the series that is a real horror movie. The comedy side has gone almost completely out the window, and this movie takes on a far more darker, serious tone. Warwick Davis is sadly nowhere to be found. Instead, the leprechaun is a growling, bloodthirsty creature that is kind of like an evil Gollum, the Uber Vamps from Buffy, and the crawlers from The Descent put together. The events play out like any similar flick does, in that it is your typical chase movie with the kids getting picked off one by one. And in that regard, it's not bad at all, I have to say. It hits all the right beats and has a few good surprises.

But my overall feelings about Origins are still conflicting. When looking at it as just a horror movie, it's totally fine. I love creature features. And I understand the filmmakers wanting to take the story to a darker place, and use the actual ancient mythology of the leprechaun as the basis for the story. The thing that I kept thinking about after watching it, though, is that that was never what the series was in the first place. Origins doesn't fit at all. It's not like the Child's Play series where the first one was scary and then the series got campier so they tried to bring it back to its creepier roots with Curse of Chucky. The Leprechaun was never scary, it always had that campy appeal, so this sequel could have easily just been another run-of-the-mill creature flick without adding the Leprechaun name to it. Doing so changes the trajectory of a franchise that never seemed like it was heading in this direction at all. But... I still dug it on a certain level. See what I mean? Conflicted.

The four main characters are Sophie, her non-interested boyfriend Ben, and the fun-loving couple Jeni and David. Sophie is the obvious heroine and final girl from the start, and she's good in that role. You get sympathy for her character because Ben is pretty much a dick, a trait that he shows several times in his actions throughout the movie. We don't get to learn hardly anything about Jeni or David but I still liked them. The film is much gorier than I was expecting, and the practical kills and other effects are great looking.

There's really only a few nods to the original films, and I'm not even sure that one of them was a nod, but I like to think that it was. The obvious one is at the end with the line "Fuck you, Lucky Charms!" Got a good chuckle out of that. The other one that might not actually be one was at the beginning when the leprechaun obviously attacked a character and there's a shot of his hand with one finger missing. In all the previous movies, the leprechaun has got a thing for either biting or ripping off people's fingers, but I don't even know if anybody else ever cared about this, so it might just be an homage in my eyes only!

Like I said, as a straight creature feature horror film, Leprechaun: Origins does its job, and does its job pretty well. It doesn't really belong in the Leprechaun franchise, but the fact that it is so different from all the other films makes it easy to separate it from them.


  1. >8c ...well, I guess all movies have an audience that can apreciate them. Even ..."this".

    You're more forgiving than I am; I loathe this "entry".

    1. I just didn't really think it was fair to completely dismiss it because it doesn't have anything to do with the previous movies. It's honestly not that bad - but as a Leprechaun movie? Yeah, it doesn't cut it :).

  2. I've been wanting to see this one! I actually didn't believe the franchise could ever pick itself up again after the two 'in the hood' sequels, but it's kind of sad how this doesn't seem to have a lot of ties to the previous films. Not that they were a lot to look up to or anything, but still.

  3. I found this to be a good movie and I had never heard of it before. Thanks for the write-up. For Must See Horror Movies see