31 in 31 — Leprechaun: Origins

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oct 1 Leprechaun Origins“Fuck you, lucky charms!”

Story: Four American hikers want to an Irish village where the neighboring locals fear to tread. But the villagers in Creepy Distant Town are really cool, and very welcoming. In fact, the villagers tell our gang about a cool ancient ruin, and even let them stay rent free at a cabin in middle of the woods. Hey, why is our gang locked in?

Scares: A few genuine chills of the “Where’s The Leprechaun” variety. And one seriously well done twist in the middle of the film I didn’t see coming. Plus, the leprechaun is more Descent-esque monster than St. Patrick’s Day abomination. So that’s nice.

Splat factor: Middling. There’s blood aplenty, but as most of the story happens at night, the shadows hide/temper a lot.

Closing scene “shocker”: Just enough for a possible sequel. Because what the world needs is more of this franchise. (Stay through the credits if you want one last jump-scare. But blink and you’ll miss it.)

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul): Part 7 of the Leprechaun series. Yep. SEVEN.

Trick or Treat: WWE Studios. Because nothing says quality cinematic experience like the WWE. Leaving the “steal their gold, die horribly” mythology from the first 6 films, Origins relies on pure adrenaline to move the story along. That story being “kids die one by one”.  Here, the villagers stole the leprechaun gold, and they offer up outsiders as payback. You’d think immortal beings would be smarter than that.

But there are one or two decent bits among this beaten horse. Like the surprisingly good gore, even with the darkness. There’s just enough to be believable, but not so much that you’ll start looking for wires and pumps. Then again they may simply know when to pull away.

It’s hard to root for Our Lead Girl Sophie, a gal who puts her life on hold for her apathetic, self-important med student boyfriend. (As for the rest, I’m sure they have names, but they’re really just fodder so who cares.) And you’d think that once the gang figured out what’s going on, they’d would take off any gold they have on their person. Nope! And as the final survivor tries to stay alive, I felt nothing. Origins couldn’t care less about connecting you to the victims. It’s just in it for the rush. And I was hoping the monster would just kill her already, and end this lackluster tale.

Origins doesn’t care about creating characters you root for, it’s just down for the chase. And this film actually does that pretty well, though the leprechauns-eye-view is too shaky and wild to really appreciate the ol’ ultraviolence.

The opening credits make a big deal of mentioning that “Hornswoggle” from WWE plays the leprechaun. I don’t know the dude, but he’s no Andy Serkis.

Score: 2 out of 5 pumpkins, for the bits of suspense in between the cliché story, and for the leprechaun itself.

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