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Shrooms (2006)

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Plot Summary:
"When five American college students arrive in Ireland to go on a camping trip with their old college buddy Jake who has promised them a ‘trip’ of a lifetime’ because he claims Ireland has the best magic mushrooms in the world. It sounded like it would be great fun. Now that they are tripping things don’t seem so funny. But there is something out there, something watching them, something that will kill them if they don’t get out of the forest and get help."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 21 May 2010 My Rating: out of 5


Five American tourists in Ireland are guided by their Irish pal Jack Huston through the woods in search of some exotic, hallucinogenic mushrooms. Unfortunately Lindsay Haun thinks all magic mushrooms are alike, samples a Death’s Head mushroom and...let’s just say it ruins the ‘trip’ for everyone as they find themselves haunted by (possibly imaginary) evil spectres. Meanwhile, I’m left wondering why they didn’t just go with the bad brown acid.

I hate most of the modern horror films that centre around young people (which, is a lot I guess), because the characters are generally unlikeable, and have interests in things I have little or no interest in, like drugs (I have no moral stance, just disinterest). And yet, the idea of a horror film about magic mushrooms seemed to suggest to me a jolly good time, albeit likely a Z-grade equivalent of a ‘good time’. Hey, you take what you can get, and at least this time the drugs were pretty integral to the plot (for what that’s worth).

Sadly, this Paddy Breathnach horror outing is otherwise a pretty interminable slog, not even a ‘fun’ bad movie. The tagline’s killer, though: ‘Get ready to get wasted’. That’s priceless, but sadly all we get for wit, from this flick, which is a lame cross between David Arquette’s uneven “The Tripper” and the tedious “Hostel”, only set in Ireland.

I understand that there are people out there who willingly take drugs, but for a film like this to work for me, the film has to be really, really good at what it does because I don’t understand these sorts of people let alone appreciate such stories. Mushrooms as a figure of menace? Oh, dear. This film is stupid. Really, really stupid. In an insufferably dull way. A horror film about the terror inspired by the taking of magic mushrooms is, forgive my coarseness, a completely retarded idea. Not as dopey as “The Village”, but pretty damn stupid nonetheless. And once the idea is set-up, it plays out so quickly that the film has much time left over but nowhere to actually go.

There are bright spots, though. The cinematography by Nanu Segal is really good (if a bit dark) and worth a star or so on its own, there’s some terrifically catty dialogue for the women characters (the most interesting characters in the film), and Huston (who looks like a Euro Skeet Ulrich) has ‘something’.

Overall this film has very little appeal to it, especially if, like me, you are sick of horror films centred around annoying, drug-taking youngsters. It might’ve worked better if there were more humour in the script. As it is, this is not a trip worth taking. We would rather recommend some form of recovery from mushroom addiction.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 17 April 2008 My Rating: out of 5

Paddy Breathnach’s feature film is a surprisingly enjoyable and effective terror trip which sees a group of six friends travel to Ireland for a weekend of camping in the remote wilderness only to be bumped off in creepy ways by some strange local characters.

Whilst Shrooms does not deal with anything terribly new to the genre, it manages to be a film which presents its elements in unique ways. This time it’s Americans venturing across the pond to Ireland instead of backwoods West Virginia or Texas (as is the norm in this genre) and it’s quite refreshing to see them learn about some of our cultural past times such as dogging and the titular shrooms.

The cast which is headed by Lindsay Haun (Village of the Damned) and rising star Jack Huston all turn in good performances and even manage to make their two dimensional characters slightly memorable.

The death scenes truly are trippy, as is some of the photography and the eerie locations all add to the proceedings.

Shrooms is an above average and enjoyable little horror treat that manages to squeeze some originality out of it’s pretty conventional screenplay and throws in some novel ideas, such as a new way to cut off communication via cell phones. In the end, it’s a dark trip worth taking.

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