Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Sean McGinley, Joe Phelan, Lindsey Haun, Anna Tikhonova
Directed by Paddy Breathnach
Distributed by Magnolia Home Entertainment
"I believe in a long prolonged derangement of the senses to attain the unknown ... Although I live in the subconscious, our pale reason hides the infinite from us." -- Jim Morrison
People have been feeding their demons via external means since the days of the caveman. No matter what your drug of choice is, the search for the way to reach a temporary state of nirvana will continue long after we're gone too. Just about everyone's experimented with something at one time or another, be it a pharmaceutical or a natural substance. Me? I'd never mess with anything some loony cooks up in his lab. Mainly because manufactured highs can be some of the most dangerous. That is, unless you're in Ireland during magic mushroom season. While most 'shrooms offer a fairly safe trip, others ... others can be deadly, and that's just what our group of six twenty-somethings are about to find out.
Stupid Americans. We just never listen. A group of friends embark on a trip to the Land of the Leprechaun to meet up with their local friend, who happens to be a mushroom expert. Despite his warnings to the contrary, some dangerous mushrooms are accidentally ingested, and it's not long before our tripping campers are being stalked by all manner of local Irish legends. But are they imagining things? Could this all be in their heads? One thing's for sure, the rising body count is deathly real.
Shrooms is an interesting little movie, and there's no doubt it builds upon a great premise. Truth be told, the flick is beautiful to look at. The folks behind the camera knew what they were doing. The tripping sequences are both striking and nightmarish to behold. If only the script and the acting were as up to snuff, then we really would have had something. Unfortunately, in between all the great visuals hides a really mundane experience. The film's lead actress (Haun) seemed extremely capable at first, but as things progressed, it became really apparent that this fresh face has a lot more work to do before she's able to carry an entire motion picture. Especially when the script is weak and is sporting the now prerequisite twist-ending that you can see coming from a country away. By the time our heroine has her umpteenth premonition that causes her to wake with a gasp, you'll be rolling your eyes and losing interest all the way to the climax. Never a good thing.
Speaking of the ending, the special features are home to a few variations of it, none of which are satisfying or interesting. The same goes for the several alternate/deleted scenes and the bloopers. If there's one saving supplemental grace here, it would be the director's commentary. Yes, it's lively and funny, but will you care enough to sit through this flick again to listen? If it weren't my job, I wouldn't have.
Bottom line? This strain of fungi is just no fun. Had Shrooms been just a bit more trippy-incoherent and less paint-by-numbers slasher flick, it would have played infinitely better. Oh well. At least the box art kicks ass!
2 1/2 out of 5
2 1/2 out of 5
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