“La, la la, goes the mushroom credence; if you eat us, you will be us.”
So goes the ominous final line of “Mushroom Credence” from Stuntz's Blue Leg Expedition's highly underrated Traveling by Spores. It's a mushroom themed album, but, as one might already have gathered, one not about chanterelles.
Which brings us (very elegantly, I might add) to Shrooms. This was one of the first movies I added to my Netflix streaming queue (or My List as it's now called) way back when, but I didn't get around to watching it until recently. And the red flags started waving right off the bat.
First, in what surely must be some sort of record, there are nine production companies involved with this movie. Fair enough, I suppose; I guess they had financing issues. More disconcerting is the premise of the plot: A group of kids traveling from the US to Ireland for the sole, stated purpose of doing shrooms? I mean, fine, I'm not one to judge, but paying for a cross-continental flight just to get high does not make this a particularly sympathetic group.
Yes, the red flags are hoisted early on, but thankfully things do change for the better.
For one thing, Shrooms is pretty dang beautiful to watch. The use of colors and filming… Very nice. It's a well shot movie.
The dialogue, too, is well-written, but while the story is fairly engrossing, it also treads too far into predictable territories:
Out there in the woods, doing shrooms, the main character accidentally pops a super shroom and miraculously survives the trip… Is she now actually seeing the future, as the legend of the super shroom suggests? Visions of her friends being murdered–in an extremely original twist–by a patient from a closed down asylum? Bodies piling up? Is any of it even happening?! Is she simply tripping?! Who knows?! She's on super shrooms!
Frankly, I had hoped this super shroom thing would have made the movie a bit more psychedelic than it actually is. All in all it's fairly straight forward in a Blair Witch type of way (kids hunted in the woods by… someone? something? nothing?), with a dash of Deliverance (inbred locals), finished off with the sensibilities of Ringu. Not a bad combination, but they could have taken it a bit further. Fair is fair, though: the talking cow scene is pretty awesome.
But yeah, that whole closed down asylum plot point is sorta played out by now, and it gets shifty when there are shots almost directly lifted from Session 9. In the end, everything gets a bit predictable, but you know what? I do not care!
Shrooms is an elegant movie, and it's pretty creepy to boot. The dialogue is amusing at times, and not in an involuntary kind of way. It's all presented in a beautiful package, and it really is an enjoyable film.
So, I might not be an actual shrooms type of person, and as I have nothing good to end on, I'll just present you my go-to mushroom recipe:
Cook chopped carrots and celery over medium heat until they start softening, then add chopped onions. As the onions start to turn translucent, add chopped mushroom, and fold them into the mirepoix. Give it about five minutes, and add cream, salt, and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to a simmer, and let thicken until done. Tastes great the next day, too!
Letterboxd summary: A group of American teens comes to Ireland to visit a friend who takes them on a camping trip in search of the local, fabled magic mushrooms. When the psychedelics start taking hold, the panicked friends are attacked by ghostly creatures; but how can they determine whether what they are experiencing is reality or hallucination?
Ratings from around the web
|One Star Classics||3/6|