After SyFy's 2014 attempt to reboot the Leprechaun franchise (without the actual Leprechaun) failed horribly, they're back at it again with Leprechaun Returns. This time the movie is a new retconned sequel that directly follows the original that came out 25 years ago, ignoring all the sequels that came after it and their numerous continuity errors. Unfortunately Warwick Davis opted not to reprise his role as the titular character this time 'round, leaving the job to a somewhat newish actor named Linden Porco.
The story follows "Lila" (who happens to be the daughter to Jennifer Aniston's character from the first movie), as she makes her way to the new house for her sorority. The home also turns out to be the very same place that they discovered and killed that pesky Leprechaun at all those years ago (what a coincidence!). Naturally certain events transpire that result in the return of the little green fella, who realizes that he'll need to murder a few people to get his powers back while he continues the never-ending hunt for his gold.
Though they couldn't get Aniston to cameo in the movie, the filmmakers did get Mark Holton to return as the lovable "Ozzie", who helps our female lead, much like he did with her mother over two decades ago. Meanwhile, Porco does a decent job as the Leprechaun, who definitely nails the look, but it takes a while to get used to the new voice and iffy accent (at least it did for me). This Lep also doesn't rhyme as much as he did in the past sequels (which I like), but like the jokester that he is, still manages to throw in a cheesy (and sometimes outdated) joke or two after violently killing someone. Either way, it's clear that they were aiming for the return of a dark and scary Leprechaun (similar to how he was in the original).
Luckily the deaths are the highlight of the movie because we get a decent body count and they're all different and unique in their own way. And thankfully director Steven Kostanski (The Void) made good use of practical effects through most of the pic, so we're treated to some nice B-grade blood and gore, which is still a step above the CG effects we see in today's horror. It also makes up for the terrible dialogue and writing in general, which is the weakest aspect of the movie overall. Of course, as I've said in the past, we don't watch these types of movies for the writing, especially when it comes to a long-running series like this, though sometimes it's a little hard to overlook.