Stemming from Irish folklore, leprechauns are supernatural solitary fairies that are usually depicted as tiny bearded men. In later folklore, they have also been depicted as shoe-makers who hide pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. And, though not strictly classified as ‘evil’ (but, not exactly as ‘good’, either!), leprechauns can be seen partaking in various types of mischief.
Still, how did a horror film series evolve from such a seemingly innocent, dare I say, comical concept? Consisting of eight slasher films, the Leprechaun film series managed to keep its deviously satirical aspect, yet became a staple part of the comedy horror genre. In this article, we will explore all of the Leprechaun movies and what made them so remarkable. Keep on reading to find out all the ludicrous details!
How Many Leprechaun Movies Are There?
In total, there are eight Leprechaun movies. The franchise saw its beginning in 1993, with a theatrically released Leprechaun, while the last movie so far, Leprechaun Returns, has been released in 2018. In April of 2022, Bloody Disgusting reported that Lionsgate was “actively seeking out pitches for the next Leprechaun movie”, so we should probably expect another Leprechaun movie soon. You can read all about it here.
Leprechaun Movies in Order
The following list depicts Leprechaun movies in order of release:
- Leprechaun (1993)
- Leprechaun 2 (1994)
- Leprechaun 3 (1995)
- Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)
- Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)
- Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood (2003)
- Leprechaun: Origins (2014)
- Leprechaun Returns (2018)
Although the list is already somewhat long, we suspect it will continue to grow in the following years! Keep on reading if you’re wondering about the best way to watch these scary, yet ridiculously comical movies.
What Is the Best Way to Watch Leprechaun Movies?
The best way to watch Leprechaun movies is in order of release. Though it is not necessary to watch the whole film series to understand each separate movie, we suggest that the Leprechaun movies be watched by the release date. Here’s why:
While none of the movies received a great critical and public response, it may be worth a while to start from the beginning. The first and the second movies were the only ones theatrically released. The first three movies also managed to score the highest rating, along with the last movie, Leprechaun Returns. The final movie received the best public response out of the whole franchise (50% on Rotten Tomatoes), and it is a direct sequel to the original movie. So, if you don’t feel like watching all of the movies – you can always start from the first one, and skip to the latest one.
Leprechaun Movies in Order by Release Date
1. Leprechaun (1993)
IMDb rating: 4.7/10
Starring young Jennifer Aniston, this movie depicts an evil, sadistic Leprechaun who goes on a killing spree in search of his beloved pot of gold.
2. Leprechaun 2 (1994)
IMDb rating: 4.6/10
On his one-thousandth birthday, a sadistic leprechaun selects the descendant of one of his slaves to have as his bride…leaving it up to the poor girl’s boyfriend to save her.
3. Leprechaun 3 (1995)
IMDb rating: 5.0/10
This is where it gets truly comical; an evil leprechaun finds himself in – Las Vegas. There, he proceeds to cause mischief by granting twisted wishes, killing people, and even infection a young man with his green blood.
4. Leprechaun 4: In Space (1997)
IMDb rating: 3.5/10
The evil leprechaun is, this time, in space…where he is trying to woo a beautiful princess who desires to separate him from his gold.
5. Leprechaun in the Hood (2000)
IMDb rating: 3.7/10
Wanting to get even with a pimp, three rappers accidentally unleash a leprechaun.
6. Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood (2003)
IMDb rating: 3.9/10
Failing to heed the warnings of a wise old psychic, Emily Woodrow and her friends collect a fortune in golden coins…only to find out that the owner is a Leprechaun, returning from Hell to retrieve his treasure back.
7. Leprechaun: Origins (2014)
IMDb rating: 3.2/10
Not related to the previous Leprechaun films, the movie follows two young couples backpacking through Ireland, only to discover that the most famous Irish legend is actually real.
8. Leprechaun Returns (2018)
IMDb rating: 5.0/10
Once again, the Leprechaun returns. Only this time, a group of girls are to blame; after tearing down a cabin to build a new sorority house, the Leprechaun is unwillingly awakened.
Are Leprechaun Movies Connected?
Up to the sixth movie, the Leprechaun movies are loosely connected. The only direct sequel is Leprechaun Returns, which connects to the original, first movie. Leprechaun: Origins is not related to the franchise.
Will There Be More Leprechaun Movies?
As a matter of fact, there might be more Leprechaun movies coming soon.
Following the release and box office success of Freddy vs. Jason, a crossover film with the Candyman film series was in development (Candyman vs. Leprechaun). However, after Tony Todd flat-out refused to participate, the project was stalled.
In 2021, Darren Lynn Bousman (a director of four films in the Saw franchise) expressed interest in directing a Leprechaun movie. In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Bousman explained that his potential film would not be a reboot, but “a more direct sequel to the Leprechaun franchise”. Oh, and he would also demand that Warwick Davis, who played a character named Willow, comes back. Finally, some good news!
Furthermore, Bousman declared that he would not try to change the tone of the series, but would stick to the dark comedic themes of the original six films. “I think that’s what’s so great about the Leprechaun films. They’re silly, they’re fun. They are violent, but it’s a pure popcorn movie. (…) I would make it equally as batshit, bonkers crazy”, Bousman said, “It got really ridiculous as they went on, but that ridiculousness is what made them fun.”
In addition, Bloody Disgusting‘s sources also indicate that Lionsgate is actively seeking out pitches for the next Leprechaun movie. Feeling excited, yet?
Where to Watch the Leprechaun Movies?
The movies are easily available online whenever you feel like watching them. They can be streamed by purchasing or renting on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. Did I mention HBO Max has all of the Leprechaun movies, too?