A decent, well-acted, well-directed, well-edited horror film from Ireland, "Shrooms" packs a whallop for a little movie and it's way better than most of the direct-to-DVD horror hitting stores. It's nothing terribly original, borrowing heavily from "The Blair Witch Project," "High Tension", and "Friday the 13th." But filmmaker Paddy Breathnach knows suspense and managed to deliver a tense psychedelic thriller.
A group of backpacking American kids led by Tara (Lindsey Haun) head to Ireland for a psychedelic week in the woods. I did not know this about Ireland before seeing this movie, but apparently the country is known for its amazing psychedelic mushrooms. A local guy serves as their tour guide and mushroom picking expert. He also informs them of a local Jason-like and "Blair Witch"-like ghost story that serves as the basis of the carnage to come. The party animals set up camp by a lake and head out into the woods in search of magic mushrooms.
Things start going wrong when Tara foolishly takes a "Death's Head" mushroom she finds in the woods. She's nearly killed by the experience. When she's resurrected by mouth-to-mouth resucitation, she starts experiencing hallucinations of future events that may or may not happen to her friends: Mainly seeing them getting killed off by a ghostly, hood-wearing mutant in the woods.
The film's gimmick is that all the characters are on shrooms so it's difficult to determine whether what they are seeing is truly a supernatural entity, a hallucination or combination thereof. Basically, the film is one long bad trip for these characters. Naturally they run into some inbred Irish "rednecks" as well, who provide a "Deliverance"-style menace.
Director Breathnach plays up the atmosphere of the woods nicely, and the film has plenty of freaky setpieces, including a scene with a twig man that's straight out of "The Blair Witch Project." Tara's ability to (apparently) see the future in her nightmares adds another layer of sophistication to the story, bringing it a step above your average slasher movie. Lindsey Haun is actually a great actress and her performance as a cuddly co-ed turned paranoid mushroom tripper holds this film together from start to finish. The hallucination-infused deaths are also quite creative, but surprisingly ungory considering this film is supposed to be "unrated."
While the film's storyline is at times confusing and the characters become irritating when they are pitted against one another in childish fistfights during the film's first third, the movie ultimately works as a time waster. You won't be bored watching it, although experienced horror film fans will see the pic's twist ending coming a million miles away.
I honestly dont see how this kind of horror film can even get a decent review.
Posted by dog will hunt on February 28, 2009
a beautifully filmed piece of pg-13 poo. the characters are incredibly annoying and the gore is nonexistent. as for the "twist" ending, yeah it's obvious from about halfway in but hardly worth sticking around for and seems tacked on.
the irony is that if they actually did more hallucinogens they might have made a decent film.
Rank this film on a '666 scale' of one to six (left to right). Based on 2269 votes.