An animated prologue reveals the origins of Leprechauns, summoned by an ancient king to protect his gold. After the king's death, the Leprechauns returned to their places of origin, all except one Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) who became corrupted through the ages and obsessed with the gold he still guarded. In the present, Father Jacob (Willie C. Carpenter) finds the gold and intends to build a youth center. After a struggle, Jacob banishes Lubdan by summoning demonic hands to drag him underground, but dies of his injuries.
One year later, friends Emily Woodrow (Tangi Miller) and Lisa Duncan (Sherrie Jackson) have their fortune told by the clairvoyant Esmeralda (Donzaleigh Abernathy), who warns they will soon attain great wealth, but it must be denied as it will come at a great price and summon a terrible evil. At a barbecue at the abandoned youth center site with Lisa, stoner Jamie Davis (Page Kennedy) and ex-boyfriend-turned-drug dealer Rory Jackson (Laz Alonso), Emily falls through a hole and discovers the Leprechaun's gold, hidden by Father Jacob. Splitting the treasure, the four friends use the gold to fulfill their fantasies, unaware they have released the Leprechaun. He stalks the group, impaling a guest at Jamie's party with a bong and retrieving one of his coins, prompting the police to arrest Jamie. At the beauty salon where Emily works, the Leprechaun kills a regular customer, Doria, on the massage table and attacks Emily. She escapes, warning Rory and the recently released Jamie, and they rush to find Lisa. In her home, Lisa is killed when the Leprechaun claws her in the stomach, and her friends find her body.
While Emily and Jamie want to return the gold, Rory does not and takes off with it; realizing Rory is gone, Emily is chased outside by the Leprechaun, but is saved when Rory has a change of heart and returns. The Leprechaun finds Rory's house and kills his profligate girlfriend Chanel (Keesha Sharp) by tearing out her jaw, reclaiming the gold she used to make a tooth, while Rory and Emily are harassed by Officers Thompson (Beau Billingslea) and Whitaker (Chris Murray). When the Leprechaun appears and kills the officers, Emily and Rory escape and regroup with Jamie, only to be confronted by Rory's drug-dealing rivals, led by Watson (Shiek Mahmud-Bey) and Cedric (Sticky Fingaz). Planning to kill Rory for infringing on their territory, Watson and his gang are disposed of by the Leprechaun, while Emily, Rory and Jamie drive off in Watson's car, seeking Esmeralda's help.
She advises using four-leaf clovers against the Leprechaun, and Rory laces hollow-point bullets with clovers Jamie finds in the marijuana Rory sold him earlier. When the Leprechaun arrives, Rory shoots him with the clover bullets, only for his gun to jam before he can finish off the Leprechaun. Rory and Emily have the chance to escape with the gold when the Leprechaun is distracted by Jamie, wounded by a baseball bat to the leg, and Esmeralda dies in a magical duel with the Leprechaun. Followed to the roof of the building, Rory tries fighting the Leprechaun and is knocked out. Before the Leprechaun can kill him, Emily throws some of his gold into wet concrete and lures him into the ruins of the youth center, where she tosses his gold into a furnace before knocking the Leprechaun inside.
Believing the Leprechaun dead, Emily returns to Rory, only for the Leprechaun to renew his attack. Knocking Emily off the roof and leaving her barely holding on, the Leprechaun taunts her, but is shot several times by Rory. He runs out of bullets, but distracts the Leprechaun long enough for Emily to hit him with the chest of coins, sending him into the wet concrete below, where the Leprechaun sinks and becomes trapped with his gold.
The film concludes with an animated epilogue as the Leprechaun digs himself out in a cliffhanger.
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