Starring: Lindsey Haun, Jack Huston, Max Kasch, Maya Hazen, Alice Greczyn, Robert Hoffman
Six twenty-somethings go into the woods in Ireland to partake in the naturally growing "magic mushrooms" to get high. When a ghost story starts to seem like a real threat, the group must struggle to survive... which isn't easy to do when you're trippin' so hard you can't tell what's real and what's in your head.
[sarcasm] Until now my life has felt like a void! I was missing something... something special. What I needed was a movie where 6 misfit 20-somethings go into the woods and start getting picked off one by one by some mysterious evil force that has been the subject of campfire ghost stories! But what would be different, what would really set this movie apart from all other movies where 6 misfit 20-somethings go into the woods and start getting picked off one by one by some mysterious evil force that has been the subject of campfire ghost stories, is that all 6 characters would be trippin' balls on shooms so there was no way of knowing what was real and what was part of a hallucinatory trip. Oh happy day, that void in my life has been filled with "Shrooms"! [/sarcasm]
Tara, Troy, Lisa, Holly and Bluto (no seriously, the guy's name in the movie is Bluto!) go to Ireland and meet up with their old college buddy Jake. The plan: go into the woods and hunt for a potent mushroom to get themselves really high. When they first arrive in the woods, they hit a goat with their van, and when they get out to investigate are met by two "Deliverance" rejects with an axe. The two yokels take the dead goat, and the 6 friends go on their merry way.
The six agree to leave their cell phones locked up in the van so they don't call anyone while trippin' and get in trouble for their actions. They then go out hunting for the shrooms Jake has picked out for them. While searching, they discover that there is a second type of mushroom that looks identical to the one they're searching for except for a black spot that marks it as different. This black dotted mushroom is poisonous (seizure and heart attack inducing), but should you survive it also gives a long-lasting trip which includes supposed paranormal manifestations such as seeing into the future. Of course, Tara, who's never done drugs before, takes this black dotted mushroom before anyone can warn her and goes into a seizure and stops breathing. She is resuscitated by Jake after having a vision of him resuscitating her.
That night, while the group has a campfire (except for Tara who's resting in her tent within earshot), Jake tells them the "true" horror story of a nearby boys home where a psychotic monk would torture and kill the boys he thought weren't doing as they should. After killing one boy of a set of twins, the surviving twin secretly made the monk over-dose on the black dotted mushrooms. As a side effect, the monk ended up killing dozens of people, and it's said that he and the living twin haunt the woods still. Being thoroughly scared, everyone goes to their tents for either sleep or sex. And that's when the fun begings!
One member of the group gets high and wanders off into the woods. Tara has a vision of him being killed and goes out to find him. The next morning, he's missing and the group searches for him. When the girls find his dead body, Tara begins seeing the evil monk (dressed in black) and believes they're being chased. They end up separating and getting picked off one by one.
"Shrooms" is the cliché horror in the woods movie. It even has the same stereotypical characters as all the others: a jock, a princess, a dorky stoner, a cool stoner, a goody two-shoes who has her bad girl moments, and a goody two-shoes who messed up (the one who took the wrong mushroom) and now is paying for it by being the only one lucid enough to see the danger first. The only original aspect of the film is the part where they're all high, and so it's hard to tell what's real and what's a hallucination.
It's a little difficult to tell where on the time line of the film everything is happening since the main character, Tara, seems to be able to see the future (and later, the past). Because of that, when combined with hallucinations vs what's actually going on, you kind of feel like you're trippin' yourself while watching this movie. I'm guessing that's what the director was going for, so kudos to him!
The acting in this was slightly better than most films of the horror-in-the-woods genre (or... sub-genre, I guess). The main character, Tara looked familiar the whole time but I just couldn't place her. Thankfully, IMDB exists, so I was able to find that she was one of the creepy kids in the 1995 remake of "Village of the Damned". My how they grow up fast!
Despite the cliché and predictable story and characters, I actually found myself wildly entertained by this movie. And I gotta say, the ending was a very unexpected twist and I'm glad they went with it rather than how I THOUGHT they'd end it!
I give "Shrooms" a 3 out of 5.
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