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Leprechaun: Origins - Lionsgate Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Written by Richard Taylor   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015
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A.K.A. Леприкон: Начало, O Duende: As Origens, Vilenjak: Početak, Лепрекон: Начало

Directed by:
Zach Lipovsky
Written by:
Harris Wilkinson
Produced by:
Michael Luisi, Chris Foss
Cinematography by:
Mahlon Todd Williams
Editing by:
Daniel Hawley
Special Effects by:
Lindala Schminken FX
Music by:
Jeff Tymoschuk
Dylan Postl,
Brendan Fletcher, Stephanie Bennett, Andrew Dunbar, Melissa Roxburgh, Garry Chalk
1h 30min

Studio: WWE Studios
Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment

I'm going to get shit for saying this, but I actually liked and enjoyed watching Leprechaun: Origins. I've read all the hate reviews on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, but this reviewer actually enjoyed the movie. The first big grievance I keep on reading are usually from fans of the original series with Warwick Davis playing the little evil wisecracking menace. This is where I say I am not a fan of the original series and I don't like my horror lightly sprinkled with comedy on a regular basis. I want intense visceral no-nonsense carnage and I felt Origins fulfilled that. I've also been reading that many people (once again fans of the original series) didn't like how they transformed the Leprechaun into more of a primitive non-speaking character role; a monster that stalks and kills. I thought that angle worked. For me, it’s much more terrifying when you have a vicious monster with a twisted predatory hunger and thirst for destroying its prey, than a little goof in a green suit dancing around making wisecracks. It’s not scary. It’s comedy, not horror. Sure, Warwick Davis (Leprechaun, Life's Too Short) did a great job, but its 2015 and the Leprechaun can only hang out in "da hood" and make the jokes work for so long.

I like the idea of this prequel. I like the fact it takes place in Ireland and I like how the story still revolves around that traditional story element surrounding the Leprechaun's beloved gold. The original was a clichéd mess. This one is not bordering on brilliant material, but please don't tell me the original was a stroke of genius when the director brewed up the idea from the cereal Lucky Charms. Give me a fucking break! Obvious backlash will be given because
Origins is a WWE Studios production, which is the famous wrestling empire, which I personally haven't followed since the 80's, early 90's at best. Warwick Davis is replaced by a wrestler whose ring persona's name is Hornswoggle, whose real name is Dylan Postl. Postl definitely doesn't bring the screen presence of Davis with the original character, but more of a speechless stalking beast, who we don't get to see a lot of. He looks like a grey troll or demon jumping around. We occasionally get a glimpse from his point of view which is a black and white heat trace. Fans of the original hated not seeing the monster and it not having a personality. If you've ever watched any horror film with a monster, especially a traditional one, the viewer doesn't usually get full view of the creature until the climax. It’s an age old monster film formula that filmmakers have been, and still are using for years. Not every movie that has a point of view from the monster is a direct lift from Predator. Not every scene with tall grass is a rip from Jurassic Park either. These are all comments I read in different reviews.

Now, Origins is not an original piece of outstanding flawless horror movie filmmaking 101. I had fun watching it, it kept my interest (unlike the original did even with a couple more beers in hand), but the characters weren't developed enough. The plot and film formula has been done before. It does come off with its own clichés, but if it entertains me and shuts off my brain for the running time, in my books it’s worth a look. I've seen a lot worse acting, dumber college kids and way worse special effects in many other movies and I don't feel this movie got the rap it deserved. The gore effects are well done. There are a few nice tense scares and a couple of particular scenes I didn't see coming. To say that you don't feel for any of the characters is bullshit. I felt actress Stephanie Bennett as Sophie was a great character. I felt for her especially in the kind of relationship she was in with her boyfriend Ben, a one sided one, all for himself and all take and no give. Canadian actor Brendan Fletcher (Freddy Vs. Jason, Ginger Snaps, Rampage) always brings a nice screen presence and in this one he plays one of his lighter "party dude" roles.

The movie opens with a young man and woman running from a menacing presence in the high grasses of a field. We see they are being stalked and killed, but the man throws a bag of something away, in a desperate attempt to survive, with no luck. Soon the invisible force hidden by the tall grass, consumes them both, but not before we see a big stone monument they seemed to be trying to reach.

We then open with our cast of two guys and two girls, hitching a ride on a truck through the Irish countryside, on a backpacking trip to see the sights. They visit a small village bar, have a couple pints of stout and are quickly welcomed with almost too friendly hospitality from a local man named Hamish (played by Garry Chalk). Hamish entices them to stay the night in a cottage he has arranged and to go on a long hike in the morning, to see some natural Irish history no tourist guide book can offer. Our backpackers vote on it and they are off to the cottage. Things take a turn for the worse when they realize they are locked in the cottage, left as a sacrifice for the locals who have taken the Leprechaun’s gold and now much atone for their actions. Not original, the college kids always end up getting into all sorts of trouble in countless movies, but even good humored movies which didn't take themselves so seriously, like An American Werewolf in London, used some of those clichés to its advantage.

What I did like about the characters in the movie is how quickly they abandoned each other to save their own fucking skin and it didn't matter if they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Leprechaun: Origins is a good time waster. For me it was a fresh spin on the series and it does still deliver that famous line at the end to homage the original "Fuck you Lucky Charms!" I might be the only one who seems to think Origins wasn't a total misfire.



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