3 couples go to Ireland woods to collect magic mushrooms and trip out. On their way they meet some strange inhabitants of the woods and it doesn't take long until a creepy story is being ... See full summary »
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3 couples go to Ireland woods to collect magic mushrooms and trip out. On their way they meet some strange inhabitants of the woods and it doesn't take long until a creepy story is being told at the campfire which might be more than just a story. So strange things happen, people start disappearing, silhouettes move through the woods and the creepy story starts to melt into reality. The horror kicks in along with the effect of the mushrooms. Written by
If you're already high on magic mushrooms and experiencing vivid hallucinogenic images, are the ghosts you keep seeing really there? This is the appealing premise around which Shrooms builds its story and it's a good one.
When a group of American students camping in a remote part of Ireland (a strange choice of location really - once the main characters reach their destination they could be anywhere) begin indulging in the pleasures of shrooms only to start perishing, is it the work of local ghosts... or are they just seeing things? Firstly, I'd like to say that although this movie has flaws - the acting (with the exception of lead actress Lindsey Haun) is only adequate, the characters could have been better defined (you get the jock, the "Jay from Jay And Silent Bob" style stoner, the two bitchy girls and the pretty virgin) and the ending is highly derivative of another, better horror movie - there is still a lot to love about Shrooms.
The main reason that this movie worked for me is down to the direction of Paddy Breathnach. There is a real sense of dread and gloom in some of the scenes, and the way in which the main antagonist is filmed is done very well; whether he's jerkily moving through trees or rising out of murky water. The location is, in itself, a character - a place of shadows, threatening trees and gloomy ponds. Breathnach also manages to convincingly capture the feeling of being out of your head as the camera flickers, or fades in and out of focus as the effects of the mushrooms are felt. In my opinion the later parts of Shrooms successfully come across like a bad trip. There's also a wonderful sequence involving a talking cow that adds humour to the movie and I would have loved to have seen a few more sequences like that. I would go so far as to say that Breathach's direction reminds me of Eli Roth (whether that's a good thing or not is up to you) and that comparison is easier to make due to the similarities between this and Roth's "Cabin Fever" movie.
Having read some of the comments here on IMDb, I'm not sure why so many people are responding so negatively about Shrooms. Yes, it seems to draw from movies such as The Blair Witch Project and Silent Hill for inspiration but, at the end of the day, it entertained me throughout its entire running time. I'd definitely watch it again and would certainly recommend it to other fans of the horror genre.
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