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  • Rev Horror

Leprechaun: Back 2 Tha Hood

Dir. Steven Ayromlooi (2003)

Ignoring a psychic's warning, a group of friends who find a treasure chest full of gold find themselves at odds with the Leprechaun.

Rob Spera, director of the previous film in the Leprechaun franchise Leprechaun 5: In the Hood, wanted to take the series in a new direction, proposing that the Leprechaun take on some teens on an island celebrating Spring Break. Instead, the producers of the series decided that the success of the fifth entry was successful because "Black people = more money," parted ways with Spera, and decided to give the sixth installment to newly minted director Steven Ayromlooi and give the film a much more serious tone. As to whether this was a bad decision, we will get into that shortly, but it certainly was a massive departure from every other film that came before.

Again taking place in the inner city, Back 2 Tha Hood (mispelling entirely the producers') follows the story of Emily (Tangi Miller) as she finds a treasure chest full of gold coins after being warned by the psychic Esmerelda (Donzaleigh Abernathy) to leave them alone. The coins are said to be worth well over a million dollars, a life-changing amount of money but even moreso for Emily and her friends Rory (Laz Alonso), Jamie (Page Kennedy), and Lisa (Sherrie Jackson), who are all seeking to escape their circumstances for one reason or another. Of course, these coins belong to someone, namely the titular Leprechaun (Warwick Davis in his final turn as the little dude).

By making the film into much more serious fare, new director Ayromlooi, who also wrote the film, presents the Leprechaun in a much more drama-centered film than previously seen in the franchise. It also patterns itself much more as a straight-up slasher than any of the previous films, even moreso than the original. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you're binging these movies (or even if you're just a fan of the previous flicks), this one comes completely out of left field in regards to its tone and its pacing. It takes way too long before the little Irish guy is introduced, and once he is, the kills are far more brutal and realistic than they've ever been. Again, not a bad thing from a horror perspective, to be sure, but completely not fitting with any of the other films in the franchise.

The good thing about Back 2 Tha Hood is that, despite its flaws, it's really a pretty decent horror movie. It keeps some of the impishness of the previous films without leaning too much on the formula, and it is more of a formulaic slasher than you were probably expecting going in. The Leprechaun himself is a bit more demonic, and Davis' character eschews his magical abilities from the previous films to focus more on being a monstrous (albeit tiny) serial killer. It's also a bit more socially focused, playing with themes like drugs, police brutality, and social inequalities in the inner city. Your personal mileage may vary, but if you can look past the dissimilarities between this film and what came before, it's not half bad at all.

Who this movie is for: Leprechaun franchise lovers, Slasher fans, Gold investors

Bottom line: The franchise feels like it's chasing it's own tail, forsaking any ingenuity present in the previous film by trying to capitalize directly off of its success through copy/pasting its setting. The tone is completely different, however, and your impression of this film will depend largely on how you view the ones that came before. If you're a big fan of the Leprechaun movies, you'll likely hate this one. If you just like horror in general, this one will probably be much more up your alley. It's a decent slasher film, if you can put aside some of its shortcomings, and it thankfully still maintains a little of the playfulness the series is known for. Check it out streaming on Peacock along with all the rest of the films.

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