Leprechaun: Origins Oct 1, 2014 11:05:48 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Oct 1, 2014 11:05:48 GMT -5
Leprechaun: Origins (2014)
Directed by: Zach Lipovsky
Directed by: Zach Lipovsky
When I first heard an origin story of the infamous Leprechaun franchise was being made, I couldn't help but laugh and voice my opinions aloud to nobody other than myself. The one franchise that I'm almost certain nobody wanted an origin story to had gotten an origin story, and now it makes the sixth follow-up/sequel to the 1993 cult classic horror film Leprechaun. Who would've thought a film about a witty, serial-killing leprechaun would've spawned six follow-ups, one of which taking place in space, two taking place in "the hood," and, finally, a proclaimed "reboot" twenty-one years after its release? And you thought Freddy Kruger and Jason Voorhees wouldn't stay dead.
Leprechaun: Origins is a thoroughly odious and disrespectful film to the franchise that, yes, in some ways, does deserve respect. The original Leprechaun film kickstarted the career of Friends actress Jennifer Aniston and provided another pint-sized serial-killer to go alongside the likes of Chucky and Tiffany from the Child's Play franchise. This origin story, which doesn't at all feel like an origin story, much less connected to the franchise the film is named after, does a miserable job at not only being loyal to its franchise but simply trying to maintain enough composure to act as a presentable horror film. It's the messiest and most abysmal horror film of 2014 thus far.
The film concerns a group of Irish backpackers, faceless and lacking in personality, like we'd expect, hiking through scenic Ireland. They are offered an old cabin in the outskirts of the Irish woods by a group of offputting locals as a place to sleep for the night. However, they soon realize upon entering the ominous cabin they are locked in and have no immediate way of escaping. That's when they find a vicious leprechaun lurking in the fireplace, and realize they are the leprechauns sacrifices, doomed to die by vicious mutilation.
For the first time in the franchise's six film streak, Warwick Davis does not play the leprechaun. Instead, we have Dylan "Hornswoggle" Postl of WWE fame (as this film is brought to us by WWE Studios) filling in his duty, but it's not like that fact even matters. The original Leprechaun films, while often subpar in quality, found a delicate balance of witty humor coming from what Davis's leprechaun would do and say and brutal violence. He was smug, sarcastic, and would taunt his victims before often savagely murdering them. Postl is given no real dialog in the film, making the titular character not even good enough for a shred of personality or flair in his own film. In a franchise known for its idiocy and black comedy, why this element was excluded from the alleged origin story of the character is beyond me.
However, if that was Leprechaun: Origins biggest problem, my rating would be a tad higher. The coffin-sealing nail here is the way editor Shawn Montgomery, writer Harris Wilkinson, and director Zach Lipovsky all handle the material. For starters, Montgomery edits the film in such a sloppy and disjointed manner that, when the leprechaun finally attacks, we can hardly decipher what is going on due to the fact that the pacing of the film unnaturally speeds up and the editing becomes a jumbled array of quick-cutting. We hardly even see what the leprechaun looks like, and when we briefly do, he is so interchangeable and so different in his appearance he might as well be a troll, a goblin, or anything other than what he is said to be. The editing cripples an already handcuffed picture that doesn't feel like giving its titular character any personality, much less screen-time, its human characters any identity, or its screenplay any remote wit and soul. In addition, Lipovsky doesn't seem to want to show any murders or gruesomeness on screen, which makes me question why even make a reboot or origin story to a genre that is predicated off such violence and brutality.
In addition, for an alleged origin story, Leprechaun: Origins feels distinctly modern in look, speech, equipment, and environment. If this film really focused on the origins of the leprechaun killer, wouldn't we be seeing a film set decades in the past, focusing on the first human interactions with such a deranged creature? It only adds to the mystery of an already baffling film that proves that if you suck everything that made previous installments of a horror franchise watchable and amusing out for another followup or reboot, you will get an abysmal, charmless feature film as a result.
Starring: Dylan "Hornswoggle" Postl, Stephanie Bennett, Teach Grant, Bruce Blain, and Adam Boys. Directed by: Zach Lipovsky.