Having had no direct sequels during the franchise’s existence, Leprechaun Returns – the eighth film in the series finally breaks that mold and instead of continuing off of the previous movie that found Lubdan in the hood, it goes back to the very first picture that had starred Jennifer Aniston. She of course is not in this particular feature, though it might have made it all the much better for it, and neither is Warwick Davis which is a bit of shame, the role instead going to Linden Porco who does a fair job of it. While it seems a little strange that the makers of this film would go all the way back to the beginning, it ends up being a smart move as it allows them to essentially give the series a soft reboot, though whether there are more planned has yet to be seen.
When the film begins, it does so with the daughter of Tory Redding, her mother having passed away after a lifetime of being scared, of monsters that did not exist and could not exist, at least as far as those who knew her including her child. Now Lila has come back to the home that her mother once lived in very briefly, where the monster of her mother’s past life was said to inhabit and where he manages to reconstitute himself in order to both find his gold and take out his murderous frustrations on those around him. Luckily for him, he has a house full of teenagers that will allow him to do just that, though they tend to pose more of a challenge than he originally thought.
Returning to the series in a minor capacity would be Mark Holton which was nice to see for those familiar with the first film, though he would not last for long as the leprechaun would make his return in the grandest of fashions from within Holton’s stomach. Taylor Spreitler takes the lead role as Lila Redding, the eponymous daughter while Porco would generate a few smiles throughout, though failing to capture the charm that Davis would bring to the role. Both actors were good as were the rest of the cast and while this film was fairly enjoyable as a whole, it was nothing that audiences had not seen previously, many times over, that including the usual jumps and scares and murders and so forth.
If there was a fault to it all, it was that – a lack of originality, but there is something to be said about the familiar as it at least gives the audience something to take comfort in, knowing exactly what will happen to a degree and thus not being disappointed by the unknown. Still, when it was all said and done, Leprechaun Returns would entertain but one could simply watch the first film and be satisfied with that, this sequel being somewhat unnecessary.
2.5 out of 5