Shrooms is a 2007 horror/thriller that skirts the edges of being a slasher. Written by Pearse Elliott and directed by Paddy Breathnach. Shrooms opened to generally poor reviews, when I acquire new films to watch for reviews I often shop at second hand stores and yard sales. Shrooms is a title that I had passed on a number of times before and I wish I would of kept on passing on it.
The film follows a group of American students who travel to Ireland to take shrooms in the forest. One of the students, Tara (Lindsey Haun) takes a deathcap mushroom by mistake and starts experiencing visions of the future as well as vivid hallucinations. Slowly, Taras friends start being killed after being separated from one another and Tara see it before it happens in drug fulled visions.
So this movie isn’t the best, but its far from the worst. It has a number of things working against it, but the film still strives to be entertaining and scary. There’s a number of genuinely creepy moments but are often lost in the shuffle of the recurring scenes of the students running through the woods and the tedium of the next nonexistent plot.
One of the strengths of the film is the tone. I’m a fan of stranded in the woods with no help situations. This movie has that in spades, but sadly that alone can’t carry a whole film. Tone and pacing are great when employed with interesting characters and story.Which this movie ends up lacking in both accounts, making for a much less enjoyable experience.
My biggest issue is with the characters. The characters are so shallow you can wade through them and not get your socks wet. None of the characters are expanded on and are completely forgettable. With none of the characters being interesting or even like-able its hard to feel scared or empathetic for them as the face their grisly ends. Very little seems to actually happen in this film with a lot of the times being dedicated to the characters being chased. Now I love chase scenes with the killer stalking its victims, but that’s about all this film is.
The music is all stock and never adds to the tension in the story is trying to create. It just as forgettable as the rest the film. I always find this incredibly sad as I feel music in integral in making a top notch horror film. Music has a way of compounding the tension, grief, dread or any emotion when implemented correctly. While Shrooms never goes so far as to misuse music in a way that makes it feels out of place, I still find it lacking.
So final opinion? Shrooms is an example of a horror film misses its mark and in all honestly would of been better in my eyes if they wouldn’t of included the twist ending. The ending is the only thing keeping me from declaring this movie a slasher, even though it does follow the vast majority of my qualifiers for a Slasher film. But even graded as one Shrooms still would be below average at best. The film carries the feel of a low budget film, but it lacks the heart of one. But the films internal logic and continuity is sound, the acting while mediocre, at times bland, it’s never bad and the film does strive to tell a story. Unfortunately Shrooms nonexistent story, bland characters and terrible twist ending really drag it down. So end of the day Shrooms gets a 4/10 interesting enough if you’re a fan of low end horror and have time to kill, but I would never suggest this film to over other films I have reviewed.