creature feature

Shaun vs. Leprechaun (2014)

leporiginsHere it is, ladies and gentlemen!  The long awaited reboot of the Leprechaun franchise, it’s a new take on the Leprechaun mythos coming at us as a serious creature feature as opposed to the off-the-wall absurdity of the older series.  Is a fresh perspective enough to breathe new life into the series or does it come off as a stinky, stanky nugget?  Click to find out!

Directed by Zach Lipovsky

Starring Stephanie Bennett, Andrew Dunbar, Dylan Postl and Gary Chalk.

The Trailer

The Story

A pair of young American couples visiting Ireland come upon a little village with a dark secret — they trap tourists and feed them to a creature that’s been terrorizing them for centuries.

The Review

Forget everything you know about the previous Leprechaun movies because they have nothing in common with this film.  Origins is exactly what it intends to be, a total reboot of an existing franchise that has floundered for over a decade without a new release.  Long gone is any sense of humour, the film is very serious and the leprechaun here is a grunting, drooling creature that is mostly hidden in shadow.

A history major among them, the young couples backpack across the emerald isles and come across a quaint little village.  Overhearing the couples talk about their academic studies in history, one of the locals tells them about a nearby landmark that they should see.  He and his son put them up in an abandoned house for the night but wind up locking them inside.  It doesn’t take long for a creature to break into the home and try to tear them to shreds.

leprechaun-origins

No matter what comes through that hole, you axe it in the face, ok?

I’ll start off with what I liked about the movie.  It takes itself seriously with the reboot, it does away with pretty much everything that was established in the previous series.  Going off in a totally different direction, the comedy/horror aspect is dropped in favor of being a gory creature feature and I give it points for that.  The special effects, when showcased, look pretty good with at least one good shocking kill that came out of nowhere.  The film takes place in Ireland for crying out loud, how did it take so long for this to happen? 

Now while this is new territory for Leprechaun, the story is hardly new.  People (usually American) visiting in a far off country are caught in the middle of that foreign country’s strange customs?  Not entirely original but I guess we’ll live with that.  The bigger problem is when you start to think about why this is even happening.  What happened so long ago that a creature started taking out villagers?  The people who live here don’t want to move and apparently have a deal with the creature to feed it outsiders, but the creature doesn’t really communicate with anyone so what stops it from going after anyone?  How does it differentiate an outsider from a local? 

lep-reveal-4

It’s a….a…leprechaun…maybe?

A lot of the problems with the movie, like the story, all revolve around the titular character.  The leprechaun is hidden in shadow most of the movie and the camera angle switches quite often to it’s perspective.  But it’s perspective changes — sometimes it’ll be a normal view, sometimes it’s Predator-like vision.  What’s the difference?  I don’t know!  When we do see the leprechaun, it’s a bad halloween costume up close.  I don’t know why it’s even called a “leprechaun” other than the fact that it likes gold and will rip it off anyone who’s wearing any.  A snarling, flesh eating creature with a flair for gold?  Where’s Warwick Davis when you need him?  Dylan “Hornswaggle” Postl gets top billing for playing a creature that doesn’t say anything.

Sad to say, but all the time that’s gone by and all the hype about bringing a new perspective to an old franchise went to waste.  It starts off just fine but by the end you’ll hate that you can guess every twist and turn that happens up to the ridiculous ending.  Don’t bother with this nugget.

Trivia

-Dylan Postl’s Hornswaggle character in WWE was originally a Leprechaun.  A role he was born to play, apparently.

-Originally pitched as a horror/comedy like the original series.  This is what happens when you mess with a semi-good thing.

The Score (aka TL,DR)

Story: 3 – Points for trying something different, too bad it devolves into a stupid mess later on.

Blood: 6 – Couple of really good scenes, including a torn up leg and an axe to the face.

Nudity: 2 – I’ll take the two cuties in their underwear over a naked leprechaun any day.

Overall: 2 – All the goodwill that the movie starts off with is gone halfway through the movie and by the end you’ll be cursing that you wasted your time on it at all.

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