Monday, 10 June 2019

Midnight Horror Review: Leprechaun Returns


Believe it or not, there are now eight films in the horror-comedy Leprechaun series, which began with the 1993 cult classic (filmed in 1991) which starred a pre-Friends Jennifer Aniston. Warwick Davis played the wisecracking villain for six films, with the last being 2003's straight-to-video Leprechaun: Back 2 the Hood. The franchise was rebooted in 2014 in the-name-only Leprechaun: Origins and the less I talk about that disaster the better!

The franchise got another reboot with Leprechaun Returns ($14.99; R; 93 minutes), which ignores the original sequels and the 2014 reboot. It's a direct sequel to the 1993 film with Linden Porco taking over role as the Leprechaun! The film was released to VOD in December 2018 and premiered on SyFy in March 2019. It'll be making it's way on Blu-ray (+ Digital) tomorrow from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Directed by Steven Kotanski, the film is set 25 years after the original and centers around college student Lila (played by Taylor Spreitler) who's joining the sorority house Alpha Upsilon. The sorority recently decided to go "green" and moved their house to an old farmhouse (the same one from the original movie). After getting a ride from Ozzy (Mark Holton reprising his role from the 1993 film), Lila meets her new sisters - Rose (played by Sai Bennett), Meredith (played by Emily Reid), and Katie (played by Pepi Sonuga), as well as Katie's boyfriend Andy (played Ben McGregor) and the tech-geek Matt (played by Oliver Llewllyn Jenkins).

After getting a bit too close to the farm's old well, Ozzy weirdly and grossly resurrects the Leprechaun. Once again, the Irish killer is on a deadly mission to retrieve his pot of gold. And, of course, he's going to have a little bloody fun with the college students.

Special Features include:
  • Going Green with Director Steven Kotanski
  • Leprechaun Returns Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • Still Gallery


  Final Thoughts

After being disappointed with Leprechaun: Origins, my expectations for the franchise's second reboot Leprechaun Returns were extremely low. The good news is the film is a lot better than what many so-called critics said it was, and, being a long-time fan of the series, I for one enjoyed it. Sure, it's not going to win any awards, but compared to the past Leprechaun sequels, this one is actually likeable.

For a low-budget B-movie, the acting is pretty decent for the most part. Linden Porco does a job as a Warwick replacement, giving both a frightening and funny performance. It was nice seeing Mark Holton back as Ozzy, but I wish he had a bigger part. The gore and blood isn't held back a bit and there are plenty of creative death scenes. As for the plot, it was pretty simple, more in vain to the original film.

Overall, Leprechaun Returns is an enjoyable gory entry in the Leprechaun franchise, and hopefully, it won't be the last.

Note: I received a review copy from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
All opinions are my own.

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