Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shrooms (2007)

It takes a lot these days to do a Slasher movie that stands out in the pack. While a few have, most of these are dull Straight to DVD fair that most either forget or regret watching. There are a lot of reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that they all have the same cliches. Paddy Breathnach's 2007 slasher "Shrooms" (which received a small theatrical release) tries to stand out, but ends up coming short.

The plot deals with 3 couples that go into the woods in Ireland to get high off of mushrooms. Along with meeting some strange woodspeople (is there any other kind in horror?), one of them-a girl named Tara (Lindsey Haun) consumes a particularly bad mushroom. There's also a creepy campfire story, and the next thing you know, people start to die, and Tara starts to see a hooded madman. But is it all real, or a hallucination?

In some ways, "Shrooms" does manage to stand out some. As you'd expect, there is a serious hallucinatory aspect to the film, as it's surreal and at times nightmarish. There's also a sense of humor to it, most notably in a scene in which a character thinks a cow is talking to him. Unfortunately, much of the humor is hit and miss, and the film doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. Is this a slasher, or a black parody of the genre? The film also tends to rely too much on scares that are too reminiscent of the type you'd find in Japanese Horror movies like "Ju-On" and "Ringu," and after a while it gets annoying.

The biggest flaw with the movie though, is the conclusion, which is one of those "Oh, it was ______ all along!" endings movies like "High Tension" did. It just ruins the movie, and causes it to lose a point.

While it might sound like I'm being too hard on this, I can't say that I hated it. I did appreciate the surreal nature of the film for the most part, plus it's well acted and directed, and shows a lot of potential for director Breathnach. Sadly, this doesn't reach it's full potential, and loses points due to some really bad decisions. Oh well. At least it tried.

Rating: 5/10 or 9/10 if you are on drugs.

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