I would like to start this review by say that I am a huge fan of slasher movies, no matter how bad, I even watch the bad amateur low budget ones from time to time. Now, what did the critics think? No surprises here, but the film wasn’t well received at all, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth watching seeing as almost all slasher films seem to be criticised for their simple formula, lack of plot and just generally being poorly put together. This unfair generalisation means that critics will instantly dislike a slasher before watching it sometimes. On Rotten Tomatoes, Shrooms holds a score of only 24% and only 4.7/10 on IMDB.
So what do I, a real fan of slasher fan, think of Shrooms? And just what is the film about? Shrooms follows 5 young, ready to be murdered, Americans as they venture forth all the way into the wilds or Ireland, to seek out some tasty magic mushrooms so they can get high as kites. Also, there’s their mushroom expert which one of them has a crush on, but that’s not really that important. I didn’t feel that the lead character needed to have this extra attempt at a personality, she’s pretty dull and adding a love interest into her life doesn’t exactly make her any more interesting.
So they all arrive in jolly old Ireland, set up their tents and do the typical young people things, take drugs and have premarital sex. Oh, and the mushroom man confiscated their phones… for some odd reason. Well his reasoning was sound, but it also felt like it only happened so that people wouldn’t ask why the characters didn’t just call the police then the mushrooms hit the fan.
So they take their drugs and have a jolly fun day, then go home and have tea with their mums. In case you didn’t know, that was a joke. During the night, they’re told a spooky story about evil Catholics. Yeah, scary stuff, if you’re a choir boy I guess. So in the morning they take all their tasty magic mushrooms, then go off into the woods to find their irritating friend who went off in the middle of the night to go talk to a cow for a while.
Then the slashing part of the slasher starts. One by one they get picked off while Tara goes around trying to save them with her magic future seeing powers that she gained from eating a mushroom. That is the whole plot really, there are a few twists and cool scenes, but that’s all there really is without spoiling it for you.
There are a lot of good and bad points to this movie, the good being that it’s only ninety minutes, some of the drug sequences can be quite good, and a little bit like scenes from A Nightmare On Elm Street. The bad points outnumber the good, which is pretty bad. Unfortunately, while Shrooms may only be ninety minutes, about half way through, I was staring at the screen wondering how much longer it would be until the frankly predictable ending, which was trying too hard to be the opposite of what you were thinking of, but I was thinking “oh, what don’t I expect to happen, that would fit in with how uninteresting this film is?”.
Oh, another good point; a man punches a tree. I’m not even joking, he punches a tree, he’s not even trying to punch someone else… just a tree. Now, back to the bad points. Some of the time, it’s hard to tell whether Tara is seeing the future, tripping or if it’s a reality. This makes the film extremely confusing from time to time, and it’s pretty hard to watch a less than brilliant film when you’re not sure what’s going on. The major let down in this film is how much it relies on making you jump to scare you. Some films can pull it off really well, others will make you jump a little, but then you get angry with the film for being so lazy. Shrooms does neither, shrooms shouts boo at you at as loud as it can, but you won’t even finch, even if you’re a really jumpy person.
So this film is set entirely in Ireland, there are only two Irish characters, who are both hard to understand, dribbley and imbred. In the end, this film is okay, but not super amazing. I wouldn’t say it’s worth watching on your own, but definitely worth buying if you want a something to watch with friends.
Shrooms (2007): 5.5/10