Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Paddy Breathnach|
|Produced by||Paddy McDonald and Rob Walpole|
|Written by||Pearse Elliott|
|Music by||Dario Marianelli|
|Editing by||Dermot Diskin|
|Distributed by||Vertigo Films (UK)|
|Running time||86 minutes|
Shrooms is a 2007 horror film about a group of American students and their Irish guide who are stalked by a serial killer while out in the woods looking for psilocybin mushrooms. The film was written by Pearse Elliott directed by Paddy Breathnach, and stars Lindsey Haun, Jack Huston, and Max Kasch.
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. Whilst collecting psilocybin mushrooms for later consumption, Tara ingests a deathcap mushroom and suffers a seizure after which she experiences dream-like trances in which she begins having premonitions of future events.
Around the evening camp fire, with 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. Overhearing this causes Tara to have premonitions of the murders of her friends one by one, and ultimately herself.
After a deathly row with his girlfriend and the others, aggressive jock Bluto drinks some of the hallucinogenic tea (supposedly for all to share in the morning) and experiences a trip which culminates in his murder, seemingly at the hands of the rogue monk from the children's home.
The following morning, unconcerned by Bluto's disappearance – the others consume the mushroom tea, only to become separated from one another in the woods whilst under its effects. The three women, arguing and squabbling, get lost until they themselves are split, and Holly and Lisa are violently murdered – in accordance with Tara's continuing visions – after an encounter with local woodsmen Ernie and Bernie.
Jake and Troy locate Tara on the inside of the bank of a river, and instruct her to meet them in the abandoned dead people's home to summon help. Upon investigating the property, Troy is apparently killed by the monk, and Jake makes good his escape by leaping from a high window, breaking his leg as he lands. Tara finds him and the two flee the haunted scene. Then, whilst resting his leg, he is murdered.
Tara dies as a Garda helicopter hovers over the camp, and is dispatched into an ambulance as the sole survivor. As her mobile phone rings, she experiences a rapid flashback and realises that the hallucinogenic deathcap mushroom caused her to murder all of her friends. She asks the paramedic for help. Everything becomes quiet until we see her bloody hands holding a pair of bloody scissors which suggests that she has killed the paramedic. The film ends with Tara running in the woods.
- Lindsey Haun as Tara
- Max Kasch as Troy
- Jack Huston as Jake
- Robert Hoffman as Bluto
- Maya Hazen as Lisa
- Alice Greczyn as Holly
- Don Wycherley as Ernie
- Sean McGinley as Bernie
- David McGinley as Dale
When Shrooms was released, it opened to generally negative reviews. As of 2012 it holds a 24% approval rating on the film rating website Rotten Tomatoes. Variety described it as "A shake-'n'-bake slasher movie that shows just how difficult it is to do effective, modestly budgeted horror".
- Shrooms at the Internet Movie Database
- Paddy Breathnach interview on Shrooms
- Interview with Pearse Elliot on Shrooms