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Film / Shrooms

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Shrooms is a 2007 horror film directed by Paddy Breathnach, and stars Lindsey Haun, Jack Huston, and Max Kasch.

American student Tara and her college friends (Bluto, Lisa, Holly and Troy) travel to Ireland to meet with local resident and friend Jake, and go camping in woodlands surrounding a long-disused children's home. Whilst collecting psilocybin mushrooms for later consumption, Tara (deliberately) ingests a deathcap mushroom and suffers a seizure after which she experiences dream-like trances in which she begins having premonitions of future events.

When night falls, the group gathers around the camp fire, with a still-weak Tara resting in her tent. Jake tells a ghost story of the empty children's home nearby, and of a violent, sadistic monk who survived an assault by one of his charges, as revenge for killing his twin brother.

That night, things start to go wrong. Horribly wrong.

This film contains examples of:

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Tara towards Jake. It's implied (and mentioned in the Director's Commentary) that this, combined with the deathcap-induced craziness, unleashes Tara's repressed rage and causes her to kill everyone.
  • Cat Fight: When tensions between Lisa and Holly boil over—undoubtedly helped along by the drugs—they get into a tussle of pushing, shoving and grappling each other, which results in them overbalancing and rolling down the side of the hill. The fight comes to an abrupt end when a Peek-a-Boo Corpse lands on top of Lisa.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: A bunch of teenagers go into the wilderness to eat shrooms and do wacky teen stuff. Then people start dying and they want to call the cops. And all of a sudden all their phones are missing. Turns out the killer hid all of them right before starting the killing spree.
  • Creepy Monotone: (Axe to the head) "I love you, Jake".
  • Deadpan Snarker: The talking cow Bluto encounters while tripping. Who is later revealed to have been Tara.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: The film follows the students on their mushrooming expedition for a whole day, and establishes none of them as especially nice people.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The song "Curveball", featured in the ending credits, was performed by the Rig Brothers, but features vocals by Lindsey Haun (Tara). Additionally, she also co-wrote the song.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: The plot follows a group of American students and their English guide who are stalked by a Serial Killer while out in the woods looking for psilocybin mushrooms.
  • Downer Ending: All of the students except Tara are dead, and then Tara is revealed as the killer. In the final scene, she murders the paramedic and it is implied she is going to escape.
  • Everybody Must Get Stoned: The main characters travel to Ireland to collect magic mushrooms and go tripping together. They brew a mushroom that they all drink the next morning (save one who drank it during the night and then vanished), and head into the woods to look for their missing friend. And that's when their troubles really start...
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The entire film covers two or three days; depending on exactly when the opening scene on the plane takes place, and how long Tara is unconscious in the woods before being found.
  • The Faceless: The Lonely Twin, who wears a sack over his head.
  • Final Girl: Played straight, yet twisted on its head - Tara is not only the final girl, but also the killer.
  • Granola Girl: Holly gives off this vibe but isn't generally too obnoxious about it (unless she is having an argument with Lisa). Like her boyfriend Troy (who is more The Stoner), she thinks taking magic mushrooms can't hurt you because they are 'natural'.
  • Groin Attack: Happens to Bluto. His penis is bitten off by the Black Brother.
  • Hairy Girl: Granola Girl Holly doesn't shave her armpits or her legs (or, by implication, her pubic hair). This earns her mocking from Girly Girl Lisa, and is one of the main area Lisa attacks when then get into a full on insult fight (that then turns into a Cat Fight).
  • Haunted House:invoked At least, that's what the characters (and the audience) are lead to believe the children's home is at first... However, Word of God says that the issue of the story of the home being real or not was intended to be vague - hence the brief shots of it at the beginning of the film.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Present as a DVD extra. Oddly, they're interspliced between deleted scenes.
  • How We Got Here: The first few shots of the film show an unidentified woman running through the woods, clearly panicked. At the end of the film, Tara runs into the woods after escaping from the ambulance.
  • I Know Kung-Faux: Troy claims know martial arts and to be studying something called 'The Way of Tiger'. Any time he attempts to demonstrate it, he just embarrasses himself (such as attempting to parry fruit thrown at him while blindfolded), and the one time he attempts to use it in a fight, Bluto just punches him in the face and breaks his nose.
  • Implacable Man: The Black Brother. Absolutely nothing slows him down, and he he will vanish from one spot to reappear at another: often just behind his victim. But, then again, he's not real.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted. While stoned, Troy attempts to demonstrate his martial arts prowess by punching a tree. Surprisingly Realistic Outcome occurs and everyone watching winces in pain.
  • Jerk Jock: Bluto is an obnoxious, sexist, violent, steroid-using jock, who, according to Lisa, is into perverse sexual activity.
  • Jump Scare: While driving through the forest, everyone is responding to Bluto's crass comments about dogging, including Tara, who is driving. As she does so, there is a thud, a scream, and blood splatters across the windscreen. It turns out she has just hit a goat.
  • The Killer in Me: There are no ghosts or wild killers and Tara (probably) cannot see the future; the mushrooms have driven her violently insane and she is the one who kills everyone.
  • Magic Mushroom: American student Tara and her college friends visit Ireland to meet with local resident and friend Jake, and go camping in woodlands surrounding a long-disused children's home. While collecting psilocybin mushrooms for later consumption, Tara eats a death bell mushroom and suffers a seizure after which she experiences dream-like trances in which she begins having premonitions of future events. later all the campers imbibe mushroom tea, and go into the forest where they get separated and start experiencing bizarre hallucinations. This is especially bad news as someone, or something, is stalking and killing them.
  • Mind Screw: Regarding Tara's apparent visions of the future, and it is also left unclear as to whether the story of the children's home is real or not. It is also left open to interpretation just how aware Tara is of the murders she commits.
  • Mushroom Samba'': The main characters all drink a tea brewed from hallucinogenic mushrooms so they can all experience a trip. As they wander through the woods, they all start hallucinating and get separated from one other. Things become worse as the hallucinations make it impossible for them to tell what is real and what is not while a Serial Killer seems to be stalking them.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: While Jake's reasons for confiscating the group's mobile phones is understandable given the nature of the trips they could have after ingesting the mushrooms, it still isn't exactly a wise idea (arguably). To be fair to him, though, he wasn't to know that the phones would get stolen...
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The segment of the film that takes place in the children's home.
  • Obviously Evil: Completely averted with Ernie and Bernie. They are extremely odd and come across as more than a little creepy (and are, as mentioned in the Director's Commentary, intended to be the Irish version of backwoods hillbillies), but seem to be fairly nice people (if rather disturbed).
  • Once More, with Clarity: During The Reveal, all of the murders and other supernatural encounters are shown again with the mushroom-induced hallucinations stripped away: showing what really happened.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Lisa and Holly have a Cat Fight that results in the two of them rolling down a hill. Lisa lands in a ditch at the bottom. Looking up, she sees a hand dangling over the edge of the ditch. Thinking it is Holly, she grabs the hand to yank Holly into the ditch with her. Instead, she pulls Bluto's mutilated corpse down on top of her.
  • Psychic Powers: After eating the deathcap, Tara seems to have gained powers of precognition. It's left deliberately vague as to whether this is the case or not.
  • Raincoat of Horror: Tara wears a clear raincoat during this horror film. Understandable, as she's camping in Ireland.
  • Sackhead Slasher: The Lonely Twin wears a burlap sack over his head to conceal the burns he recieved from the Black Brother.
  • The Stoner: Troy, who is on the mushrooming trip for the sole purpose of getting high. He smokes a bong on the way from the airport to the forest. He also looks quite a bit like Jay from The View Askewniverse.
  • Team Mom: Tara, who organises everyone; is the first one to be concerned and arranges a search when Bluto goes missing; and even packs extra tampons for the other women on the trip.
  • Those Two Guys: Bernie and Ernie.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: A lot of the film is seen through the eyes of characters who are tripping on magic mushrooms.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Lisa really should have known better than to wade through the lake to escape.
    • And Tara should have known better to ingest a deathcap mushroom, just for the high she thought she'd have.
  • Traumatic Haircut: Lisa freaks out when she wakes up to find that someone has cut off all the hair on the right side of her head. She blames Bluto, who was tripping on magic mushrooms during the night and has now disappeared. It was actually Tara, while suffering the effects of the deathcap.
  • Twist Ending: Tara turns out to have been the killer all along, having been driven crazy from ingesting the deathcap.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: When Tara has her first fit, a small trickle of vomit can be seen on her chin. Later, when Bluto is tripping out, he vomits all over his chin and down his front.
  • Wrench Whack: Bluto beats the wounded goat to death with a lug wrench.
  • You Didn't Ask: When Holly attempts to use Bernie and Ernie's phone and finds that it doesn't work:
    Holly: You said you had a phone.
    Ernie: You asked did we have a phone. You never asked did it work.