Thursday, 21 July 2011

Shrooms (2007)

Apart from having the worst title since STOP, OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT this is one of those films which, more than anything, represents a missed opportunity.  Every time the chance emerges for it to turn into something good or unusual it instead settles for the predictable or the routine.  It starts with the highly implausible premise of a bunch of American students visiting Ireland with the express intention of driving into the woods and getting off their tits on the local magic mushrooms.  Only it turns out that the woods are in fact the grounds of an abandoned Catholic reform school where the boys were horrifically abused by the staff.  Or were they?

SHROOMS hinges on the idea that once the teens are tripping neither they nor they audience are able to tell reality from fantasy.  It's an interesting idea but one that isn't developed much further because, as it turns out, if you're a tripping American student in a horror movie you behave just the same as a non-tripping American student in a horror movie.  So we get the kids picked off one by one, chases through the woods and end up with pretty girls in dirty white vests clutching axes, like we do in most every horror movie de nos jours.  It's a shame because there are some good moments: Bluto getting fellated by something dark and nasty; Lisa asking for help in the least appropriate place; the woods themselves.  But sadly those moments get lost, not like tears in rain, but amid the unimaginative drek that makes up the rest of the movie.  I point the finger at you, Mr Director, Paddy Breathnach.

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