It’s Halloween month, y’all, and you know what that means! It’s time to catch up on our favorite horror movies and gear up for Halloween! Last year, I did a Halloween special where I reviewed some of my favorite horror, or Halloween-appropriate movies and I had so much fun doing that, I wanted to do it again. Sadly, I don’t like a lot of horror movies, so my pool of material is about as deep as a puddle in summer in California. So in order to rectify this, I’ve reached out to the deepest and darkest corners of the internet and asked for a little help. And by that, I mean I went on Facebook. So, a very special thanks to the Movie Talk community, as well as my friends and co-workers, for your horror movie suggestions. I won’t be able to get to every single recommendation, but you’ve all left me with great ideas and there’s always next year! This is my Halloween Special 2018!
Cast: Lindsey Haun (BROKEN BRIDGES  and 7 episodes of TRUE BLOOD [2008 – 2014]), Jack Huston (BEN-HUR , and upcoming films ABOVE SUSPICION  and THE IRISHMAN ), Max Kasch (RED EYE ), Alice Greczyn (THE DUKES OF HAZZARD  and FAT ALBERT ), and Jack Gleeson (BATMAN BEGINS  and GAME OF THRONES [2011 – ongoing])
Director: Paddy Breathnach (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of, and the upcoming ROSIE )
Writer: Pearse Elliott (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of)
Composer: Dario Marianelli (PADDINGTON 2 , DARKEST HOUR , KUBO , EVEREST , V FOR VENDETTA , and the upcoming BUMBLEBEE )
Cinematographer: Nanu Segal (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of, and the upcoming AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN )
Editor: Dermot Diskin (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of)
Actually, before I get started, I do have a slight bit of history with this movie. No, I haven’t seen it, but here’s the story. In the mid 2000s, I was a pretty die-hard fan of country music. In a few ways, I still am. One of my favorites of the time was Toby Keith. And it looked like I wasn’t the only one because Hollywood decided to make a movie starring him called BROKEN BRIDGES. I was excited, to say the least. I saw the movie, and I liked it back then (haven’t revisited with my current taste in movies), but Keith wasn’t the only actor that stood out for me. That honor goes to Lindsey Haun. You can chock it up to an adolescent crush, but I really enjoyed her singing in that movie and became something of a fan. She was being interviewed one time and announced that she was in another upcoming movie, a horror flick, called SHROOMS. Ever since that announcement, I was super excited and wanted to see her again in something. However, I don’t think the movie ever came out in theaters, or in theaters near me. In any case, I missed out, but I never forgot Haun or this movie. For whatever reason, it’s taken me twelve years to finally get around to it. Gotta love excuses, am I right?
This is my honest opinion of: SHROOMS
Tara (Lindsey Haun) is an American young woman traveling with a group of her friends to Ireland to meet up with the man that she’s falling in love with, Jake (Jack Huston), who promises them time in the woods to try shrooms. Their first night is something of a bust for Tara, who accidentally takes a shroom that nearly kills her. Even worse, it starts giving her visions of the future and she starts seeing her friends getting killed by ghostly figures. Though her visions are said to only be the shrooms, the group starts getting murdered one by one.
Boy howdy, this movie’s bad. Like… so bad. But with that said, I kind of had fun with it sometimes. Not the whole time, but some of the time.
The reason why I say that I have fun with the movie sometimes is because of how it’s written. This script is absolutely dreadful and I almost mean that in the best way possible. It’s more like, this script was filmed from its first and only draft. You have lines in this that are like, “That’s vile!” Does anyone but a pretentious writer ever truly say “vile” anymore in a serious tone? “Should we take it to a vet and have it humanely destroyed?” Destroyed?! What, like put it on a brick of C-4 and detonate it? That’s what I think of when I think of the word, “destroyed.” There’s even a “you’re evil” line. “How about the amazing, “Cracker, mother fucker!” and it wasn’t even a black person who says it. That line is said by such a vanilla dude that you’d swear he made Vanilla Ice look straight gangster. I was only barely containing my laughter at how bad these lines were. I can’t say that I was rolling on the floor or busting a gut, but man, it’s fascinating how this wasn’t made on Youtube by a bunch of kids fucking around with a camera. It would make more sense than the… er, “professional” filmmakers and actors in this thing.
Even the characters are ridiculous carbon copies of dumb teens from equally dumb horror films. The obvious nice girl, the obvious nice guy, the dope, the pothead, and their girlfriends. But even they’re written almost over-the-top dumb. The dope is this sociopathic dick weed that is prone to violence, beats animals to death, tries to bone his girlfriend when she doesn’t want to, it would almost make too much sense that he trips out on shrooms and starts talking to a talking cow. Yes, this really happens. Oh man, the pot-head dude might be my favorite character because he’s constantly toting that he knows martial arts. Very specifically, “the way of the tiger” and that it “takes time to perfect.” The problem is, he gets punched in the face easily, and then pussies out and says, “You don’t hit people in the face!” and even makes an attempt to… I have no idea, punch a tree to make it explode, but instead hurts his hand, still claiming that it takes time to perfect. He legit believes what he’s saying and it’s honestly quite hilarious. And before you ask, IMDb is lying to your face. This movie isn’t some satire of paranormal horror films. It’s supposed to be taken seriously. But if this one talking cow scene makes this movie a comedy-horror, then I’m a fit and hot Caucasian dude. Unintentional comedy doesn’t count.
But really, that’s all that saved this movie… and some really bad acting.
The rest of this is… about your run of the mill bad horror movie. With the exception of the idiot and pothead characters, everyone else is boring. Just stock women who have to scream when something happens, and the stock good guy is just an Irish accent. He’s also supposed to be the romantic interest for the nice girl, but I’m pretty sure they share no more than two minutes worth of screen time just the two of them. It goes nowhere and it would have made no difference if the dude was just a random guy offering them drugs and they just go with him to get fucked up. Also, for a movie with so many summaries online saying that no one can distinguish between reality and their hallucinations, only two characters get visions. I think there’s supposed to be an implication that everyone’s constantly high on shrooms anyway, but we never really see them get taken. Hell, I’m pretty sure the pothead is only high on pot the entire time. I don’t know, it’s not clearly laid out.
The movie is even kind of confused as to what the supernatural villain of the movie is. The Irish character goes into this long-winded story of an old house that was ran by some abusive priests called the Black Brothers, mentioned something about a pair of twin brothers, one of the Black Brothers murdered one of the twins in front of the other one, a massacre breaks out and only the Lonely Twin and a single Black Brother were unaccounted for in the massacre. Thing is, I think it’s implied that the Black Brother is the main monster to contend with, but then they throw in this werewolf person, who may or may not be the Lonely Twin (seriously, I have no idea, this isn’t explained), so it’s never clear who these characters are running from.
To be honest, this movie actually kind of had potential if the presented ideas were shifted around. What if the main monster was the Black Brother, black nipple mushrooms (that’s just what I’m calling them) actually allow the consumer to see the ghost of the Brother, and the consumer has to try and protect the others who are tripping out of their minds? What if the Lonely Twin was more or less a ghost trying to help in some way? I feel like there was something that could have been done with this idea that would have seriously improved what the movie itself gave us.
Overall, this movie was certainly a unique experience from traditionally bad horror films that I’m used to. Usually, I’m either bored out of my mind, frustrated to the point of punching a small child, or I’m laughing my ass off. This is sort of mixed. It’s not exactly interesting, but I was entertained enough to stay awake. This exists. That’s about the most I can say about it. As a recommendation, I’m going to say viewer beware. You’ll know within the first ten-ish minutes if this is going to be your kind of bad.
My honest rating for SHROOMS: 3/5