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DVD Review



Starring: Lindsey Haun, Jack Huston, Max Kasch and Maya Hazen
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 18
Available 05 May 2008

A small group of teenagers travel to Ireland for a camping holiday by a lake. Once there, they are met by a friend who is knowledgeable about mushrooms, and he explains the correct ones to pick for the 'trip' effect of magic mushrooms. He also warns them away from those with a black hood, which can cause illness, fits of rage and, according to the ancient druids, communion with the dead. A camp fire story is told by their friend about evil events years ago at the nearby children's home, and pretty soon afterwards one of their number starts to experience frightening and violent premonitions relating to the deaths of her friends at the hand of a cowled monk-figure. But she has consumed one of the black mushrooms and no longer knows what is real...

The marketing blurb for Shrooms cites it as being influenced by the Japanese style of supernatural horror. I don't consider this to be the case at all, as there's no hair-raising creepiness; it has more the feel of being the result of an illicit coupling between Friday 13th and The Blair Witch Project (yes, right down to nothing very much happening at the end). Any prospective tension is immediately dispelled by the knowledge that these 'pesky kids' remind you of the Scooby Gang rattling around in The Mystery Machine.

There is constant ambiguity as to whether or not major events are real - particularly the regular appearance of the cowled figure, which has the potential to be a lot more frightening than it actually is. In fact, I remember the TV re-enactment of a monk-ghost sighting by two security guards on a new development, built on the site of an old monastery, being much more chilling.

And that really sums up the film. It's an average outing, and a definite lost opportunity.

Extra features include a Director's Commentary, Deleted Scenes & Bloopers, a Trailer, Cast & Crew Interviews, and a Behind the Scenes featurette.


Ty Power

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