As a child, there was nothing scarier than the Leprechaun!
Let me clarify the title of this post. Yes, it is true. Leprechaun is the scariest movie I've ever seen. Granted, the first time I saw it was in 1993. I was six years old and it terrified me. No other movie has had that effect on me (except maybe the opening scene in Scream).
I idolized the Alex character in the movie, played by Robert Gorman. He was a wise-cracking funny kid, which is what I suppose I wanted to be. And let's not forget he saves the fucking day in the end.
The setting of the first Leprechaun movie is a rural farmhouse in the middle of nowhere in North Dakota (although the film was clearly shot in California), and as a child, I related to that because I grandparents had a very similar setup in southern Indiana. So that struck me.
Except for a few funny one-liners, this first film plays out like a straight-up slasher flick, very similar to the original Child's Play. The rest of the series took the comedy route (except maybe Leprechaun 2, which plays it pretty 50/50).
Oh, and it wasn't until I was a little older and I realized that the female lead in the movie is Jennifer fucking Aniston -- a much younger version (admittedly, she's still got it, though). And the Ozzie character is Mark Holton, who everyone remembers as Francis from Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
I remember having vivid dreams as a child where the Leprechaun was slowly walking down the hallway leading to my bedroom. He never said anything, nor did he ever get very close, but still. Those nightmares have stuck with me all these years later. I was at a very impressionable age at the time, and boy did Leprechaun leave an impression.
Hell, I was psyched when a remake was announced a couple years ago. Too bad the final product royally sucked (they had the right idea, but the creature was all wrong).
So that's my story. That's why, to this day, Leprechaun remains the scariest movie I've ever seen. I know I'll get some shit for this, but oh well, it's true.