Saturday, April 17

Leprechaun: Origins (2014)

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21 years after audiences first encountered Warwick Davis as the Leprechaun, WWE Films have taken the concept back to basics for this prequel and whilst it’s not exactly ground breaking stuff, it’s a competent effort.

Sometimes, I find it hard to understand my fellow horror fans. We’re tired of remakes, we’re tired of shitty sequels, we’re tired of found footage BUT, we don’t support new ideas. Who turned out for ‘Slither’ or ‘Snakes on a Plane’? I did.

In the same year that the horror community were heaping praise on Universal Pictures and Don Mancini for making Chucky scary again (after two pretty disappointing comedic entries) in the awesome ‘Curse of Chucky’, here was a team of filmmakers trying to do something different and getting pissed on from all sides by horror fans.

When Sophie and her friends Jeni, Ben and David arrive in Ireland from America, they head to the nearest pub to try some Guinness. When a local man tells history buff Sophie about some ancient stones, the group sets off in search of them. The locals are hiding a terrifying secret however.

As I said earlier, the film isn’t ground breaking in any way, but there aren’t that many people willing to invest in new ideas these days, so if they had to use an existing concept to get something different off the ground then so be it.

Tonally, the film’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Friday the 13th remakes vibe gets it right for me. I personally welcomed the shift from Warwick’s wacky B-movie antics to a straight-forward story (even if it treads a well-worn path) that even had some character development (you can’t say there was much of that in previous entries).

Aesthetically, the film looks really good. Sure some of the Predator-esque P.O.V and camera movements are a bit shoddy but for the most part, the film is well photographed.

The cast are good (who doesn’t like Brendan Fletcher!?) as is the score and the deaths are very gory.

Most of the complaints from creature features are always that the filmmakers should have kept their monster in the shadows (I for one was sorely disappointed once I found out The Creeper in ‘Jeepers Creepers’ was a winged hell beast). Director Zach Lipovsky wisely does this and people still weren’t happy. Give the guy a break.

I don’t know if people are just hating against this movie because of WWE (although See No Evil 2 seems to have been well received). I’ve heard people complain that WWE have no right to be making horror movies but they’ve created some of the most memorable villains in popular culture of my generation, so why not let that flow over into the movies?

I can understand diehard Leprechaun fans being disappointed with Origins because this is nothing like previous entries and Warwick isn’t present, but the intelligent, respectful horror fans that I know are out there in our community should be judging the film on its own merits. Sure, it’s predictable and cheesy at times (like every other entry in the series before it) but I can’t believe Leprechaun fans can’t lighten up enough to enjoy the ride.

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