So somebody working for the movie division of the World Wrestling Entertainment (the ones responsible for those scripted show wrestling matches starring the likes of John Cena and The Rock) was looking for the perfect movie for one of their wrestlers, in this case one Dylan Postl whose stage name is “Hornswoggle”. Yes, I am aware that this sounds like a term used a Harry Potter book. Hornswoggle’s gimmick is that he’s not only a little person, but also dresses up as a leprechaun. I’m not kidding, do a Google Image search, it’s guaranteed you will have at least a chuckle. Sadly, the thing not giving you a chuckle is the project they deemed the most suitable for him: a new addition to the dormant mediocre Leprechaun franchise.
Now I’ve covered the Leprechaun franchise in an article about whether it was even a justified franchise, but apparently the folks at W.W.E. thought this was the case as they have decided to give us a reboot of the series with wrestler Hornswoggle taking over the part of the Leprechaun from actual actor Warwick Davis. It’s not even a regular reboot where there are familiar elements from the earlier movies. Leprechaun: Origins is only related to all of the other movies only by name and nothing more. In fact, as the Leprechaun even Hornswoggle is wasted since it could have been practically anyone under that make-up. The Leprechaun in this movie has no lines and bares a resemblance more to a ferocious deformed animal than a little man in a green suit talking about four leaf clovers and gold.
The story is, as always, pretty simple: a group of two young couples backpacking through Ireland are convinced by locals to take a long hike to some of Ireland’s not so well known historic places. They are aided by an old man who sets them up in a small cabin for the night. Here it turns out they are being used as prey for a Leprechaun terrorizing the area.
The original Franchise didn’t have much going for it other than Warwick Davis creating a sometimes funny character that is only memorable because he was featured in 6 movies. After Freddy, Michael and Jason became household names the creation of the evil Leprechaun was a little too late to really make an impact, but apparently these movies made enough money to warrant sequels. Anyone watching a reboot of this franchise is expecting a at least couple of things: a Leprechaun as depicted in modern folklore, a couple of one-liners and preferably a couple of neat, or at least funny, kills. Like most recent reboots Leprechaun: Origins takes a more serious and darker approach to the material, not only substituting the modern day Leprechaun for a generic monster, but also removing any form of humor from the movie. For a movie about something as goofy as a killer Leprechaun it’s a surprisingly bleak, humorless affair. Leprechaun: Origins is more reminiscent of a lot of “cabin in the wood” type movies mixed up with a little Texas Chainsaw Massacre than a gimmick slasher movie, the category to which the original movies belonged.
When viewed on its own and not considering that this is actually Leprechaun #7, it might not be so disappointing but it still hasn’t got much going for it. The central characters lack depth and any form of tension or excitement is non-existent. If you have seen only a couple of horror movies in your lifetime, you can cue the jump-scares in Leprechaun: Origins. This movie is so predictable in everything it does, the average movie goer will experience zero surprises.
The tagline for Leprechaun: Origins is “A horror icon is reborn”, but in my opinion they should have left it dead and buried.