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LEPRECHAUN RETURNS (2018)

Leprechaun ReturnsLionsgate Movies’ have recently released a soft-reboot to their original Leprechaun film. It’s 86 minutes long, it was directed by Steven Kostanski, and it stars Linden Porco, Taylor Spreitler, Pepi Sonuga, and Sai Bennett. Plus, as an extra added bonus, it comes with an interview with the director, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and an image gallery focused on the film itself. Please enjoy.


[Leprechaun + Leprechaun Returns]


THE STORY:
Twenty-five years ago, a group of brats threw me down a well and left me to rot for all eternity. But now, now I’m back, and this time I’m primed and ready to kill everyone who crosses my path.

Although, on second thoughts, maybe I should try to figure out who to kill first? I mean, should I begin my rampage by ripping apart Ozzie the driver (Mark Holton)? Or better yet, should I concentrate my efforts on massacring that group of college kids living down the street?

Well, let’s face it; those youngsters are a right irritating bunch. So much so, in fact, that I can’t even tell which one is the drunk (Emily Reid), which one is the slut (Pepi Sonuga), which one is the egghead (Sai Bennett), and which one has a nice pair of tits (Taylor Spreitler). Either way, most of them are going to die sooner or later, touch wood, and hopefully, this will help me find my missing pot of gold.

After all, I am a Leprechaun (Linden Porco), and that’s most probably why what next transpires gets real, real, nasty! As a group of kids gets trolled - a nightmare slowly unfolds - a revelation isn’t so bold - and at the end of the day, please remember, all that glitters is not gold. 




THE REVIEW:
As a general rule, I normally like to evaluate a movie by the standards it tries to set itself. So, if a film is supposed to be a comedy, I always ask; is it funny, is it meant to be funny, and did it make me laugh? Or alternatively, if a film is supposed to be a horror film, is it scary, is it meant to be scary, and did it make me scream?  Which, in this case, no, no it didn’t, although I’m sure the people behind it did try their best.

Leprechaun Returns - Booo
Well, with all due respect, I’m sure the ‘Leprechaun Returns’ was intended to be some sort of horror-comedy, shot in a similar vein to the ‘Evil Dead’, ‘Gremlins’, and ‘Chucky’ series of films. But, in my estimation, it wasn’t funny, it wasn’t scary, and most importantly of them all, it wasn’t populated by characters I could relate to.

For example, near the start of the film, one of the main leads, Lila, as played by the rosy-cheeked Taylor Spreitler, reveals to the rest of the cast that her mother had recently died after suffering from a long term mental illness. So, in response to her revelation, they say nothing, nothing at all, apart from a couple of groans and murmurs as if to signify they’ve got better things to do. I mean, seriously? Is that how a normal person would react to hearing news like this? No! I don’t think so, and I don’t think it was meant to be funny either. What’s more, most of these characters were so stale, so one-dimensional, and so uncharismatic on the screen; it was almost as if someone forgot to give them a personality.

Again, I do mean this with all due respect, but if truth be told, each of these characters were cosmetically defined by what they represent instead of who they truly are. After all, out of the four main female leads, one of them was a drunk that didn’t have a reason to drink, one of them was a slut that didn’t have a reason to shag, one of them was an environmentalist that didn’t have a reason to moan, and one of them was a 'narrative device' which set up the plot, defined the pretext, and tried to sound sarcastic whenever required. Also, where the two main male characters are concerned, the stud and the wannabe filmmaker, the two of them spoke in cliché and didn’t advance the story in any way, shape, or form. Come to think of it, all of them were so snarky and so annoying, that I was genuinely looking forward to seeing them getting killed, one, by one, by one.


Leprechaun Returns - Rebirth


Leprechaun Returns - Taylor Spreitler
Anyway, that’s enough of that for the time being, because now would be a pretty good time for us to sit back, relax, and check out the following filmic facts: (1) ‘Lionsgate’ first released this production over the internet on the exact same day we all celebrate, ‘International Mountain Day’. It was on the 11th of December, 2018. (2) According to official sources, this film is a direct sequel to the original film but ignores all of its previous sequels. (3) During numerous stages in its development, this project was going to be called "Leprechaun Lives!" or "Leprechaun: Renewable Enemy", the latter of which being a pun on the term, ‘renewable energy’. (4) The majority of this movie was shot on location throughout Cape Town, South Africa. (5) One of the taglines used to promote this picture, states, ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’. (6) In an interview he gave to the press, Warwick Davis, who played the Leprechaun in the original series of films, told a journalist that he refused to reprise his role after it was offered to him. He said, ‘I don’t want to star in any more horror movies because my priorities have changed since the death of my father’. (7) Along similar lines, Jennifer Aniston didn’t want to reprise her original role of Tory Reding either. Although, in her case, her reasons for turning down their offer were purely financial! (8) After this film got pissed on Guinness, Linden Porco will star in the adventure, ‘The Ghosts of Brewer Town’; Taylor Spreitler will star in the sports-drama, ‘Oil City’; and Pepi Sonuga will star in the TV series, ‘Welcome To Daisyland’.

In closing my review for the ‘Leprechaun Returns’, I would like to draw your attention to three key aspects I genuinely admired. For a start, I’d say that most of the special effects were fairly impressive, considering that this was a low-budget production. Those worth mentioning, include, a drone-induced decapitation (Ouch! That must have hurt); the rebirth of the Leprechaun (Someone must be a big fan of the film, 'Aliens'); that scene which featured a group of little leprechauns going on a rampage (As well as 'Army Of Darkness'); and of course, near the end of the film, where we saw the stud being split into two halves (I’ll never cut bread the same way again). 

Leprechaun Returns - Taylor Spreitler, Pepi Sonuga, and Sai Bennett
Now, the second thing I want to applaud; would have to be the updated design of the title character. Well, in retrospect, if you can look past the dodgy Irish accent, the nth rate processed shots, as well as the fact that the actor who played the crafty git, Linden Porco, was obviously wearing a facial mask, overall, I liked the way he looked and behaved. To me, he was both cute and gruesome in fairly equal measures, plus to some degree, he was so devilishly devious he easily stole the show from the rest of the cast. So much so, that I didn’t like it whenever he was hit, slapped, or blown-up, Ha!

Oh, and while I’m on the topic of things getting blown up, this brings me quite nicely onto the last point I want to make. That being, wanting to congratulate the person who decided to give this film a soft-reboot, instead of a complete makeover, because it allowed the plot to pay homage to the original while trying to do something new in the process. Unfortunately, though, what was new, wasn’t very good, and basically turned what could’ve been a pot of gold into a pile of sh*t. Sniff-Sniff!  Still, never mind, eh? As I genuinely think that 'Lionsgate' have a pretty decent ‘monster’ on their hands, so all they have to do now is to make sure that their next movie has more soul, more passion, and more razzmatazz than this one, wink-wink!

THE RATING: C-

LEPRECHAUN RETURNS (2018) LEPRECHAUN RETURNS (2018) Reviewed by David Andrews on March 26, 2019 Rating: 5

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