The Lionsgate film “Leprechaun: Origins”, sadly is the only horror reboot that falls into this category, thus far, that I know of, and will forever remain… unbearable.
This horror film stars Stephanie Bennett (“King & Maxwell”, “Supernatural”), Andrew Dunbar (“Supernatural”, “Arrow”), Melissa Roxburgh (“The Tomorrow People”, “Supernatural”), Brendan Fletcher (“R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour”, “Rogue”), and Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl (“Muppets Most Wanted”, “WWE”).
The film was directed by Zach Lipovsky (“Tasmanian Devils”, “Time Upon a Once”) and written by Harris Wilkinson.
It was released in a limited theatrical run on Aug. 22 , 2014 followed by a video on demand (VOD) release on Aug. 26, and a DVD release on Sept. 30.
While the reboot is nothing new, especially in these last few years, there has never been too much that’s flat out irritating about it.
With this film, everything I feel about a reboot/remake, depends on which name they feel like using, is thrown out the window.
This film was bad. Actually, not bad, horrible. Unbearable. If you wanted to make a criminal talk, show them this film. I can’t say that I was actually expecting a whole lot, but I most certainly was hoping for something more than a crappy creature movie you’d see on SyFy. If I wanted that, I’d seek out the leprechaun themed movie that was aired on that network.
So, I’ll start with that point. This was a creature film, slasher like film, and was aiming for a more traditional horror approach. Dark and bloody. While the dark and bloody was achieved, and at one moment too unnecessarily, that was only of slight delight. I could never move past the fact that they chalk up this wrestling little person so much, only too have him be some badly created monster that growls and runs around like an animal. Half the time, even, you never saw the stupid thing. If the film was trying to get one all tense, by delaying on this reveal, it didn’t work, nor was the creature scary. Just further annoyed me as it just looked stupid and brought the entire film back to solely being some creature film. Half of what made the original film so great and the subsequent sequels was how campy they were. Warwick Davis had so many clever comments and zingers, and he was oh so mischievous. That was fun! This, on the other hand, not so much.
The characters were okay, seeing as there was nothing too complicated about them, but that’s also the problem. They came in and were either unlikable or not, and then thrust into being attacked. Of course, the bits that you should’ve liked, were handled terribly. While it’s fun and all to have the victims run all over the place, and then fall over nothing, this was just tedious. No one acted like they actually cared about one another. More like unknown people that ran around screaming hysterically. At least I could somewhat buy their terror.
One character that truly irritated me was the son of the Irishman that “overheard” their conversation. The Irishman’s son, needs to either be conflicted by all this, or not. He at first seemed conflicted, but then went right along with capturing the four leads. You can’t be both conflicted and not, and have it be interchangeable, especially on a whim or when it serves the plot. He then switched, yet again, to try and help in some way, but that was not at all as helpful as it could’ve been if it’d occurred sooner.
The overall story was absolutely stupid and unoriginal. A creature that must be satisfied, through sacrificing innocent people, because of something that happened long ago in the small town. Really? Where hasn’t this been done? When you listen to the characters explain this as a necessary move, it’s even more ridiculous and unbelievable. I could only roll my eyes. To make matters worse, this is where Wilkinson got into a lot of trouble, and helped make this film suffer even more than it should have. It was full of horror cliches. Except for one. I was surprised that none of the main characters had a cell phone. Not even for picture taking. They didn’t seem to have a camera either. What kinds of tourists are these? I was surprised, at one point, that the amount of logic and smarts the characters had, but then that all disappeared with how they acted later on. They fell into other cliches themselves, at the request of Wilkinson.
The only two things that connect this film remotely to the original film, let alone the series, is in that the Leprechaun is attracted to gold. Any gold really. Then, there’s the deliberate lifting of a classic line. “F*@$ you Lucky Charms”. I recognized it immediately and was slightly annoyed. This film did nothing to show any relation to the original series, beyond that of the name, and then decide, at the end, that throwing this line in was the best move. I may hate remakes, but this was through and through lazy.
The common idea with remakes or reboots is that you need to do something different. While that usually ends up being criticized as well, at least one could point and see what makes it related to the original film or films. Here, everyone opted for an entirely new film concept, but after what I saw, I’m hoping no series ever does again. I love bad movies as much as the next person, but if it is going to be flat out terrible, please warn me ahead of time. Or, at the very least, make sure my level of excitement isn’t even remotely lifted, as a tiny fall is a huge blow still.