Movie Review: Leprechaun (1993)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1993 movie starring Warwick Davis and Jennifer Aniston.

Synopsis: A father and his teenage daughter move into a run-down North Dakota farmhouse and accidentally release a leprechaun that has been imprisoned in a crate for the past 10 years. Their lives are immediately in danger as the leprechaun begins hunting for the 100 gold pieces that were stolen from him by the home's previous occupant.

Review

Even though I had heard of this movie and my wife actually has a copy of it in VHS form, I had never actually taken the time to watch this film. However, my wife and I were in the mood for a horror movie, couldn't find much else to watch and this film happened to be on one of our movie channels. As a result, I ended up giving it a try. And, unfortunately, I was actually somewhat disappointed by it.

To be fair, there were some things I did like about this movie. For one, the plot actually wasn't too far fetched (at least for a film in this genre) and, unlike so many other horror movies, there wasn't a long wait for the action. The leprechaun (Davis) was introduced right away and released from his crate relatively quickly.

I also thought Davis did an excellent job in the role. His makeup made him look pretty creepy and his character was a good mix of evil and fun. Plus the writers did at least make an effort to keep things from being as simple as turning over a bag of gold by having one of the characters, Ozzie (Holton) accidentally swallow one of the coins.

I think my biggest problem with this film was the suspense was somewhat limited. For a movie like this to work, you have to feel as though any of the characters could be killed at any moment. That just wasn't the case with this film because the father (Sanderford) is hospitalized and taken out of the picture immediately, leaving the star (Aniston), her love interest (Olandt), the comic relief, Ozzie, and a little kid (Robert Hy Gorman). I've watched enough horror films from the 80s and 90s to know that made the chances of them being killed very slim.

I also found I was pretty disappointed by how limited Davis' leprechaun character was. The writers didn't give him much in terms of magical ability (though they did at least make an effort to give an explanation for that) and, other than being able to mimic voices, he didn't do much more than bite or scratch his victims. Other than the fact he could drive a car (which really was more about being cute than terrifying) he wasn't any more dangerous than your average rabid raccoon.

Final Opinion

It took me roughly 23 years to see this movie and, after doing so, I'm convinced I wasn't missing much. Davis' performance was wasted in a film that just isn't as good as many others that are out there.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 07/15/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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