So, the WWE got the rights to the Leprechaun Franchise, home of Warwick Davis for over two decades. The WWE got into making movies as a vehicle to promote their wrestlers. And the rebooting of the Leprechaun films with Leprechaun Origins was meant to be a vehicle for Dylan Postl.
As with several recent reboots, this one does not fare well. But where as the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street reboots did not try and find a new approach to Jason Vorhees and Freddy Krueger, Leprechaun Origins abandons it’s core concept completely.
The film opens with two young people being chased through the woods into a field. They are being hunted by a growling monster. After dying at the hands of the unseen creature, we meet the four young people who are our heroes. The two couples are backpacking through Ireland and come upon a small pub. There, they meet an old farmer who offers to put them up in his cabin for the night. They accept the offer, but find out that it is in fact a setup. They are trapped in the cabin, and there is a small creature after them.
There is lots of running, and glimpses of the creature that is chasing them. And the creature is a big part of the problem. We often get shots from it’s point of view, which is a goldish tint. The creature likes gold, stealing gold jewelry off of people. Which is all we get to suggest this is a leprechaun. It is a snarling beast that shows itself to be clever once in the entire film, it never shows a level of intellect the rest of the film. It does not talk. It just growls. The leprechaun in the film is just a generic monster. The shots of the monster are constantly going in and out of focus, allowing us to only get a vague idea of what it looks like. This, however, does not result in a mysterious and scary monster. Instead? It feels like an attempt to hide uninspired creature effects. What we can see? Looks like a rubber monster that was never finished.
The characters are pretty uninteresting, and spend most of their time screaming and making dumb choices. At one point, the leads are trapped in a car and realize the keys are on the mutilated body nearby. The girl gets up to the body and suddenly pauses to get freaked out by what she already knew was a mutilated corpse. Even when they are ready to kill the creature, the leads never come across as having gotten any courage.
Dylan Postl should be upset that he got given this thankless and generic role. The original films were not that great, but at least Warwick’s Leprechaun had personality.