The Leprechaun’s Game (2020) Review
The Leprechaun’s Game isn’t part of the seemingly endless line of sequels and reboots of the franchise that started back in 1993. This is the latest film from director Louisa Warren (The Mermaid’s Curse, Scarecrow’s Revenge). Warren and co-writer Shannon Holiday (Rise of the Mummy, Cam Girls) have given us an English take on a piece of Irish folklore popularized by Americans.
In the prologue, two young lasses find out the hard way not to mess with The Leprechaun’s (Bao Tieu, Cupid, Conjuring the Genie) stash. He blinds one then beats her to death, not with a shillelagh as you might expect, but a hammer. The other is dispatched with a machete. But the pouch she drops spills silver coins, not the traditional gold ones. Maybe he cashed in his gold in return for height, because despite leprechauns traditionally being referred to as one of “the wee folk” this one is the size of a fully grown man.
John (Mike Kelson, Accident Man, Pet Graveyard) is a collector of oddities, fur from a Yeti, Krampus’s sack, Bigfoot’s other big body part, things like that. He puts out a reward for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The one that belongs to the leprechaun. Marshall (Marcus Brooks-Henderson) wants in on this and contacts Karl (Daniel Sawicki). Carl knows better, but he’s broke and his girlfriend Mischa (Louisa Warren) has just told him she’s pregnant.
The Leprechaun’s Game could have bogged down here with all the planning for finding the gold. What day to look on, which rainbow to follow, stuff like that. Instead, the gang just walks into the woods and there it is. Well, instead of a pot of gold coins, it’s once again a sack of silver. Of course, they decide to double-cross John and keep it. And almost immediately people start dying.
Unfortunately, almost as soon as that happens, and we get a real good look at the creature, The Leprechaun’s Game starts to fall apart. As if it’s not bad enough that he’s normal-sized, you can clearly see where his mask ends and a normal looking neck begins in several scenes. He doesn’t even wear green or have an Irish sounding accent. Even the origin of leprechauns, delivered once again by a YouTuber played by Shawn C. Phillips (Axegrinder 2, The Candy Witch) makes him another generic soul stealing demon.
Rather than a film about a leprechaun, The Leprechaun’s Game feels more like a masked killer slasher crossed with one of those crime films where somebody rips off the mob and ends up in deep shit. We already had a supernatural twist on ripping off the mob with The Devil’s Heist, did we really need this one?
Even with these issues, The Leprechaun’s Game could have still been an entertaining film if the script and direction had delivered the goods. Unfortunately, the script is so weak that there’s no suspense. And the kills are filmed in a flat, dull manner and are lacking in gore even when he uses his machete instead of his magic.
Louisa Warren started out as an actress before teaming up with Scott Jeffrey and moving into producing and directing as well. While I’m happy to see somebody move ahead in their field, her work behind the camera has been somewhat lacking. Tooth Fairy: The Root of Evil and The Mermaid’s Curse have their moments, but everything else I’ve seen from her has been pretty much crap. She needs to figure out what she did on those two films and work on doing it more. Or just go back to acting.
The Leprechaun’s Game is available to stream via ITN, and a DVD will be available February 9th. You can check ITN’s Facebook page for more information.