shrooms (2007)

Shrooms (2007) *Spoiler Alert*

Rating: 4 out of 5 Chainsaws

Title: Shrooms

Year Released: 2007

Director: Paddy Breathnach

Writer: Pearse Elliot

Specific Genre (gore,slasher,thriller,etc) Thriller

Starring Actors/Actresses:

  • Lindsey Haun as Tara
  • Jack Huston as Jake
  • Max Kasch as Troy
  • Maya Hazen as Lisa
  • Robert Hoffman as Bluto
  • Alice Greczyn as Holly

Synopsis:A group of college students take a trip to Ireland with the sole purpose of relaxing and tripping on magic mushrooms otherwise called “shrooms”. There are 6 travelers: Holly & Troy, Bluto & Lisa, Jake and Tara. Tara, the main character, is going on this vacation to blow off a little steam, but to also rekindle a summer romance between her and Jake. Jake is a native to Ireland, and also seems to be a mushroom connoisseur. The group arrives at their camp site and begins to unwind before taking their “trip”. After Jake recounts a little local history, the campers realize that the area isn’t as peaceful as it seems to be. Jake then takes everyone into the woods to gather mushrooms and remembers that he has forgotten to warn them of a dangerous shroom called the “Death’s Head Fungi”, but only two of the campers are around to hear his warning. Tara, who is gathering mushrooms alone, stumbles upon a death’s head shrooms. She decides to take just one cap but has an awful physical reaction; luckily Jake finds her just in time and takes her back to the camp site. Later that night, everyone else ingests their shrooms and their trip really begins.

What I Thought: Initially, I chose to watch this movie because one day I plan to take shrooms. It’s also been sitting in my Netflix queue for ages, so I thought I’d give it a chance. Right off the bat, the production value is incredible for what seems like will be a terrible film. The movie was filmed on location in Ireland and the woods play a very important role in the “scary factor”. Trees, shadows, and de-saturated color palette make even the most mundane scenes seem eerie and creepy. During many portions of the film, the darkness simply makes the action hard to see, which can be a useful tactic, forcing the viewer to really concentrate on what is going on, but most of the time it just gets annoying not being able to tell the difference between one object or another. Another issue is the use of a computer generated ghost or entity that is floating about in the woods and CGI rocks being thrown out of nowhere. It might have been more convincing if I’d been watching the movie on a big screen in total darkness, but I watched it on a 24inch computer screen.

There are some dynamics of the movie that I don’t really understand: first Bluto the Bro and Holly the Hippie. Holly is Troy’s girlfriend and when she first appears on screen, she is raising her arms and stretching to show her hairy armpits, indicating that she is sort of an “earthy-crunchy” type of chick who likes to go “natural” to match Troy’s stoner-ish persona. Then there’s Bluto, Lisa’s boyfriend, who at times has a wannabe hip-hop attitude but seems like nothing more than a wannabe frat boy/athlete/steroid taking idiot. The second dynamic is the frequent and unnecessary altercations that occur between Holly/Lisa and Bluto/Troy; they really don’t advance the plot or add anything to the movie since the arguments don’t last for very long and the viewer doesn’t quite know why the couples don’t like each other all that much. As far as gratuitous nudity, there is barely any at all, no fake tits, and no random sex scenes. But overall, the movie was unexpectedly entertaining and reminds all you stoners out there to be careful when experimenting and do drugs in safe environments with people you like and care about. And you probably don’t want to do it in the woods!