Shrooms: Stoners Take a Very Bad Trip

  In Hollywood marketing parlance, this low-budget Irish horror flick should appeal to the sacred "four quadrants" of the filmgoing public: (1) stoners, (2) fans of the Leprechaun movies, (3) mycologists, and (4) people who can't handle Saw IV–level torture porn. Five American college kids, plus their local pal—Jack Huston, of the famous filmmaking/acting dynasty—enter the woods on a hallucinogenic expedition. They're glib enough to make jokes about Carlos Castaneda and, yes, the Leprechaun movies, and are divided into three couples. So who will be the Final Girl? The straight arrow among the group is a cute blonde (Lindsey Haun), who doesn't have sex with Huston on their first night in tents. And we all know from Halloween that sluts die first and virgins survive to the end, right? Oh, but here's the twist to Shrooms: Everyone is tripping so hard on mushroom tea that we can't believe what they—and by extension we—are seeing. Thus, a ghostly shape in the woods may be only a pine tree, and a seemingly grisly death may not actually be a final death. It's a cheap but effective way to extend the small cast, since we're never sure who's down for the count. Another complication: Early on, Haun nearly ODs on the dreaded "death's head" fungus, which gives her the gift of foresight into who will die in which order. However, her prophetic visions are like being stuck in a Nine Inch Nails video. Alas, the die-off is nowhere near as funny (or gory) as in the Final Destination movies. Though Shrooms does impart one sound lesson: When you're stoned out of your mind, lost in the psycho-infested woods, and a talking cow tells you to go back to camp, listen to the cow.

 
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