With the massive amounts of remakes and reboots (or whatever the hell you wanna call them) being pumped out in the Horror genre, its always refreshing to get something that's even relatively new at all. "Shrooms" comes off as at least an attempt at taking the slasher film into new territory.
Tara and her four friends decide to visit another friend Jake (and potential boyfriend?!?) over in Ireland for some R&R. They head off into the woods for some camping, way out in the middle of fucking nowhere-land of course, to a special place where their Irish friend knows of some pretty psychedelic mushrooms that will get them baked out of their minds. When Tara takes a shroom that supposedly can give your premonitions, if it doesn't kill you first, she starts seeing a local legend coming to life and knocking off her friends one by one. When her friends start disappearing for real, they suddenly have to figure out a way to survive. But the true question is, are the ghosts of the local legend real or are they just trippin'?
Although not all that original when it comes to the general concept or the broad-stroke and fairly cliche characters, "Shrooms" actually comes off as a rather fit and effective little indie Horror movie. The heart and some well built up suspense work well for what the film is, which is essentially a slasher. When the shit starts hitting the fan in the third act and the audience (due to some pretty clever directing and editing) is about as mindfucked as the characters to what is actually going on; that's when the movie works at its best.
The confusion about who is the killer (or killers?) and the rather sporadic and modern use of random images of future scenes for the premonitions, makes trying to follow the story just as frustrating for the audience as the characters who are in the same predicament. It works though. It makes it for a rather fun ride.
The acting is sometimes a bit off from the rest and the rather cliche characters don't allow a lot of investment in their well being. The ending 'twist' if you will was also a little by the book too and fairly easy to predict but had the film left it more up in the air I'm sure it wouldn't have felt like an ending for the story then either. "Shrooms" kind of trapped itself that way.
This little film succeeds in many ways by giving a slasher as somewhat unique twist. The style and imagery is modern and works with the concept well and when the story starts getting trippy is when its at its most fun. It is rather too cliche still in many elements and the ending does seem rather predictable, but "Shrooms" had a lot of heart. At least its not a remake right?
BONUS RANT: Literally, as I was watching "Shrooms" today a news article popped up announcing that they are going a ahead with a sequel to the film. Not sure how that's entirely going to work considering how the film ended, but whatever. I would never have considered this film franchise material but that's how it goes I guess. Look for a "Shrooms 2" review in the future!
Written By Matt Reifschneider