Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Halloween Movie Month: Leprechaun

Leprechaun (1993)

Leprechaun is about a family that moves to a cabin in a small town in North Dakota.  While fixing up the cabin with some local help, they unwittingly release a leprechaun (played by Warwick Davis) trapped in the basement that goes on a murderous quest to get back his pot of gold.

There were so many things that made this movie so terrible.  The movie starts off with a portrayal of leprechauns that is so overly stereotyped that I halfway expected Warwick Davis to say "they'll never get me lucky charms!"  In fact, the movie has several bad Irish stereotypes.  I think that this is especially annoying because around St. Patty's day, I get sick of hearing everyone do horrible fake Irish accents all day.  There is no explanation to some of the things that happen and the characters all make so many terrible decisions.  Some of the deaths are just ridiculous (the leprechaun kills one person by jumping on them repeatedly with a pogo-stick).  The "romance" between the jock and the flirt all takes place in the span of about a day.  However, in re-watching it, there is something that I did not catch the first time I saw it...

Leprechaun was essentially a "cabin in the woods" movie.  I didn't realize it when I was younger because I had not seen that many horror movies at the time.  But, going back and re-watching it, I realized that it hits all the notes of a standard cabin in the woods.  First of all, the house that the family buys is a cabin that is, essentially, in the woods (not quite as remote as most cabin movies).  Secondly, the cast of characters includes the jock, the flirt, the virgin, and the stoner.  My favorite thing about the "stoner" character is that it is portrayed by a kid.  The kid does not actually do drugs, but his character is definitely that of the stoner.  Thirdly, the monster is released when someone finds something in the basement that summons the character and only something very specific can defeat the monster.

Rating and Recommendation:  In terms of quality, Leprechaun is pushing it to get a 2/5.  It's not quite to the point of being "so bad it's good," but it's almost there.  It is comically bad.  The type of movie that needs to be on Comedy Central during October (and probably March too).  But, it's not quite to the point of being so amazingly bad that it is an essential "must see" (like Troll 2).  There is no actual merit to the film in terms of acting, special effects, plot, or really any other aspect that is part of a good movie.  I think that it was intentionally supposed to be more on the comedic side of bad (at least, with some scenes, I hope that is what they were going for) - but, it's not like I was laughing out loud at any particular scene.  Despite all of that, it is still enjoyable to watch, especially when watching it with friends who can add to the humor by riffing it, or by watching it with people who love horror and can deconstruct the cabin in the woods aspect of Leprechaun.  

Be sure to check back soon for more reviews in Halloween Movie Month!  In the meantime, leave comments on this (or any other) review, follow me here and on twitter (@GargyleReviews), and let me know what movies you'd like for me to review for Halloween Movie Month!

- The Gargyle

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