Seven movies later, and the “Leprechaun” movie series is still alive and kicking. I fondly remember watching the original movie on a VHS rental back in 1995, and studios have found it a necessity to keep the saga of our demonic little person going. After the horrendous re-imagining of the series from 2014 that tried to turn the Leprechaun in to a faceless beast, “Leprechaun Returns” gets back to what made the original movie series so entertaining and deliciously silly. Sans Warwick Davis, the original Leprechaun, of course (he declined to star in horror films for a little while).
“Leprechaun Returns,” directed by Steve Kostanski (The Void) stages this sequel directly after the 1994 original movie. So like “Halloween” from 2018, parts two to seven have all been ignored and this follow up is a direct continuation. Twenty five years after her mother stopped the vicious leprechaun in her cabin, her daughter Lila arrives to the old house with her sorority to tear down the house and build their own sorority house. They unwittingly awaken the leprechaun from its prison in a mythical well during their construction. Now anxious to get back its gold, it begins a new campaign of violence, intending to finish off his old nemeses daughter.
“Leprechaun Returns” is shockingly a solid sequel that does a very good job making an argument for connecting directly to the original movie from the nineties. Kostanski and writers Mark Jones and Suzanne Kelly spend a good amount of time explaining how the film is a direct follow up. The films after don’t exist in this new timeline, and that solidifies the leprechaun as more of a direct threat. Even when he’s cracking wise and spouting rhymes, he’s a very menacing foe. While Warwick Davis is the original article, new leprechaun Linden Porco is a very good replacement who manages to add a sinister air to the titular monster. With new make up, and a tattered uniform, the leprechaun here has a great time tormenting his victims, and wastes no time viciously murdering his prey.
People will automatically be asking for Warwick Davis to return, but all things considered Linden Porco is a very good stand in who seems to be having a great time with the character. The direction the titular leprechaun is taken is very entertaining, especially considering he spends most of the movie doing battle with the daughter of his old nemesis from the original film. Ignoring the entire series allows the writers to do a lot with the Leprechaun, including adding new rules, giving him new powers, and even inventing little mini-leprechauns from his body parts in the vein of “Itchy and Scratchy.” Unlike “Halloween” there’s no social commentary, but there’s a lot of self aware horror comedy and gore, as well as pokes at classic horror tropes. The leprechaun is also never shy of a pun or double entendre. It’s not a masterpiece by any means, but as a goofy good time with some laughs and fun grue, it’s a solid diversion.