Move over Warwick Davis, you have been replaced. WWE is dipping their toes in the horror genre again with a reboot of the “Leprechaun” franchise. Judging by the trailer the movie is your standard kids in the woods style elimination horror trope and that is fine. Stick with the basics and you can create a scary film. The Leprechaun franchise still has legs even if it has been on the shelf for some years. It grew its cult following by making films with an increasing goofy sense of humor on miniscule budgets.
This trailer though seems to be taking a much more serious approach and it can work. The recent Evil Dead remake took that approach and did just fine in theatres. As long as WWE and Lionsgate used the key elements of horror films this will sell well. It is a smart move by WWE and Lionsgate as a horror franchise on a low budget can rake in the cash. It is curious why WWE or Lionsgate didn’t try launching this in theatres to see how it goes. The public will have no idea that the new Leprechaun is played by actual professional wrestler Hornswoggle. The stigma of this being another WWE movie can be avoided by burying the WWE logo. Sure this is not going to happen but by toning down WWE’s actual involvement in the movie will allow people to have a more open mind. Yes, the WWE logo immediately turns people off. Pay attention in a crowded theatre when the logo flashes across a trailer and you will hear people groan or sigh.
The trailer for “Leprechaun: Origins” does do one thing that is both smart and astute. You never see the Leprechaun. His image is the make or break point of this franchise rebirth. If he looks ridiculous then it is over before the trailer finishes its ninety second running time. There will be the obvious comparisons with the original Leprechaun creation. It isn’t fair but look at the way Godzilla was treated in 1998. The image of whatever that thing was killed off all interest in the film. Rob Zombie was smart in the Halloween remake creating a “shape” that was close to the original mask.
WWE has a good chance here to make some serious money if this is even watchable. It cannot be any worse than any other low budget horror flick that plays on Chiller at any given time. So here’s looking ahead to August 26 when this is available for legitimate viewing. Unless someone has a bootleg or something they want to share. -Jeremy