American college kids come a cropper in the Irish woods in Shrooms, an irreverent horror starring a group of attractive young TV actors. Lindsey Haun is a stand-out as sensible Tara, who picks the wrong day to rebel when she takes magic mushrooms with her friends on holiday. Soon, an unseen killer is tearing them apart one by one, but how can they tell fact from hallucination? It's scary in parts, but ultimately disappointing.
The idea is familiar enough: sexy young things flirt, joke and bicker their way through a trip to a remote, strange place, only to find themselves the target of something very, very nasty. Deliverance-style locals also make an appearance in a scene that's unlikely to endear this film to rural Irish viewers. The drugs slant is this film's variation on a theme, and at first the gang's experimentation and hallucinations ring true. Paranoia sets in, people get lost, no-one can get it together in the face of emergency.
"IT"S NOT THE NAIL-BITING EXPERIENCE TRAILERS PROMISE"
But former child actor Haun shows up her co-stars, in particular English rent-a-hunk Jack Huston, who explains the effects of magic mushrooms in a patronising public school manner. And while Shrooms is suspenseful here and there, you never get more than the odd bump and jump. The enemy isn't defined enough to be truly frightening - at least not until the derivative end. Student horror fans may find this worth a giggle, but it's not the nail-biting experience the trailers promise.
Shrooms is out in the UK on 23rd November 2007.