Cinemaster Score: 4/10
Leprechaun is one of those movies that is so hilariously bad, cliché, and cheesy that it actually makes for a great viewing experience. It is oddly charming in its low quality acting, and emphasis on extreme kills, but also comical in its writing. Leprechaun is directed in Mark Jones’ signature style of comedic “horror”, and is reflected as such in Warrick Davis’ iconic character. He carries every scene – not always necessarily in a good way – but it is almost always enjoyable. The plot is a dark parody on classic mythologies, but isn’t fleshed out enough to be a focal point. Instead, the majority of the film is really just a barrage of cat and mouse chases leading to an inventive kill. Leprechaun is a small step above most B-grade movies and that alone is an achievement worth noting given the subject matter of the film. It is dumb fun, but fun nonetheless. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make up for the fact that its bad from a critical standpoint. It may not scare you but it is consistently entertaining and full of twisted charm, making it a great horrible movie.
Acting; What Leprechaun is really famous for, of course, is kickstarting the career of the now famous Jennifer Aniston. Her performance was no Oscar worthy feat, but was above the usual B-grade affair. The rest of the cast is fairly poorly acted, with over-exaggerated emotions and ridiculous dialogue between characters. As for the Leprechaun himself, he is comically played by Warwick Davis. Who – instead of instilling fear – creates a comedy that rarely entertains. This is to be expected from such a low-budget film. But the acting isn’t as atrocious as its fellow B-movie outings, and is at least bearable.
Script; Leprechaun has a very cheesy script. One fitting for the film’s encompassing tone. It sounds bad throughout but if you’re watching Leprechaun it’s probably expected. But when you really think about what the characters are saying, it is terrible. The script is hard to listen to with a lot of lines that are work to make sense of. On top of the rough dialogues are cheesy one-liners. Lines that are neither memorable (besides that one to end things from Aniston), nor impactful – putting emphasis on how much of a slasher parody it feels like. Leprechaun’s wording is just as bad as the rest of the film – that being so bad it’s lovable.
Characters; When it comes to the Leprechaun series only one character really matters, and that’s the Leprechaun himself. He is a playful yet demonic take on the classic legend, incorporating all the elements of its mythology. Warrick Davis’ voice acting is actually very well done, and creates a memorable character that commands the film. The rest of the characters are very forgettable and cliché horror movie fillers, who sadly never amount to anything other than some creative kills. Jennifer Aniston’s Tory Reding is probably the most entertaining, but is the main protagonist after all. So stay for the Leprechaun, but don’t expect much else.
Direction; Mark Jones has a fascinating style that shows in his films. He puts his heart into perfecting that style while keeping it true to him and in interviews that feeling is clear. All of his horror films have a similar aura to them. Comedically scary; in their concepts, their gimmicky laughable fun, their antagonist. Leprechaun, though, is the most memorable. It is intentionally bad. But in being so purposefully bad of a horror flick, it is a success. Jones achieved that goal of his in great fashion. Creating a franchise that is – in every installment – machismo in its parody-esque quality, but in a way that never gets old.
Story; As for the plot, Leprechaun is actually pretty original, even if it’s very cheesy. Its story is convoluted so we’ll avoid explaining in detail, but someone stole 100 gold coins from the Leprechaun and he goes on a rampage trying to get it back. This is just an excuse for him to kill everyone in his path in twisted ways. I guess you shouldn’t expect much from such a movie but the story could’ve at least had a twist or some kind of hook to keep viewers interested. The plot usually isn’t an important factor in such a movie, and this one somewhat suffers for that. Don’t focus too much on the story though, and you should have a fun time.
Enjoyment; Logistically, Leprechaun seems like it would be a film you should skip past. Like a film that isn’t even worth the hour and a half. Logistics are sometimes misleading though – as they are here. Leprechaun is pretty enjoyable despite how bad it seems. That is exactly the point, too. Leprechaun may not be the kind of movie you go out of your way to watch, but it is one that is fun to watch and entertaining to say the least. There are interesting techniques in the kills and characters that are fun to watch develop. Leprechaun is surely a charmer of odd proportions.
David: “Leprechaun was so difficult to rate. It is a critically terrible movie, hence the score. But it is voluntarily terrible and not only is enjoyable but succeeds in its objective. I love Leprechaun because it is a laughable classic slasher, a combination of my favorite movies to watch in my free time.”
JP: “This was one of those ‘so bad it’s good’ kind of movies for me, and it most likely will be for you. Leprechaun never takes itself too seriously, making for an entertaining time at least through this mess of a film. I enjoyed it for the kills, the laughs, and the Leprechaun himself, so you might too.”