Shrooms (2007)

 

Obviously I watch a lot of movies, and I usually watch the trailers to get more inspiration. I saw the trailer for "Shrooms" and had some decent hopes, but it left me disappointed. It seemed like a typical horror set-up, a bunch of kids being stalked through the woods, but I was hopeful that the added element of hallucinogenic mushrooms would make it more interesting.

I had immediate problems with the fact that 5 American students are flying to Ireland to meet one guy just to take mushrooms. There was no need for that plot point, and would have been easier to accept that a bunch of college kids just wanted to take drugs at home without flying 5,000 miles.

The characters were awful. It seemed to be a combination of the script and the acting, but they were all totally unlikeable. The dialogue was truly bad, the jokes didn't make me laugh, but the serious lines were unintentionally funny. It was so bad that there was actually a point where I think the script mixed up two of the female characters; there was one line that legitimately seemed to be going backwards in a conversation.

The saving grace was the camera work. I've never taken mushrooms, so I can't say for certain that it was accurate, but all of the footage taken from the perspective of someone who was tripping was great. Double vision, echoing voices, washed out colors, they all created a very scary atmosphere that worked well for the horror style.

The cool camera work actually highlights how the rest of the movie failed. There was potential to just have a bunch of hallucinating people totally freaked out, not sure if anything is real or just a bad trip. Are they really being hunted and killed, or is it all in their head? Is one person's bad trip influencing the rest into believing? I felt like there was a better movie that got held down by typical horror cliches.

 

On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, "Shrooms" gets a 3 out of 10.

[Each week, Varacchi explores cinema from his own perspective. From indie to foreign to mainstream, he'll watch it all. Suggestions and recommendations are welcome, leave a comment below. CLICK HERE for the Celluloid Hero archives]