As mentioned, colours are little muted but facial tones are spot on and there's some excellent use of gradients in the icy blues towards the end of the feature. Blood reds are more brownish not the visceral red we tend to expect and all colours are firmly locked within their borders with no bleed or drift apparent. Encoding wise there's no blocking in these gradients nor in the foggy scenes littered throughout the film. Also there's no edge enhancement that I was aware of nor any unintentional blurring of faster moving objects.
The film is largely free of grain, however there are some hallucination scenes where artistically a massive amount of grain has been added. Of course this is not a fault of the transfer process itself. The print is pristine, clear, sharp and free of blemishes of any kind. Ultimately the transfer's an enjoyable one recreating the mood the cinematographer wanted; it's not overly in your face and doesn't always produce that almost 3-D effect but it does the job more than well enough.
Even though it isn't one of the newer audio codecs it still does its job more than admirably helping the user feel part of the film and, as required for a good horror flick, producing some discreet effects to the rears that enhances that eerie feeling. Surrounds are used well, not bombastic constantly on but sounds are steered as required; the airport scene at the start, the woodland sounds of birds and animals, some shocks, some haunting score. The score itself although measured comes across well from the fronts again adding ambience to the film rather than it being another character in itself.
Dialogue is well delivered, again from the fronts; it's always crisp and clear. Fidelity though is somewhat lacking as though a narrower tonal range has been used. Lows are never ultra low, don't be expecting extensive use of LFE, and any high pitches never really pierce the ears.
- Commentary with Director Paddy Breathnach, Writer Pearse Elliot and Producer Paddy McDonald.
So what's the craic here then? A good enough commentary by these three and as you would imagine from the Irish it's an enjoyable enough affair. Even though they have a gifted tongue though sometimes the commentary weakens somewhat with some long pauses. The best attribute about this particular extra is the continual references to the Asian horror genre; it's a good and recommended listen.
- Deleted Scenes and Bloopers. - 0: 16:49
A standard collection of deleted or extended scenes, from being stuck in the mud to Tara taking more mushrooms. I would have to say that they deserve their place on the cutting room floor. Even the few bloopers aren't really that funny and as such not really worth a watch.
- Cast and Crew Interviews. - 0:32:50
All the main cast members are interviewed and all asked the same questions, The Story, Their Character, Shooting in Ireland, The Director, The Re-emergence of Horror and Working on a Horror Film. I thought this was an interesting take on a standard interview featurette and it works quite well. The director is asked similar questions but also extended to probe his reasons for merging teen hack with Asian horror. A good watch.
- Behind the Scenes. - 0:16:27
A fly on the wall featurette where the camera pans round shooting location during filming. There's no audio commentary other than what can be heard going on in the background between cast and crew. Again it's a good take on an already established extra feature. The fly on the wall documentary style works well and I hope to see more of this kind in the future.
A slim but enjoyable set of extras, as well as the above the you also get theoriginal trailer for the film. The deleted scenes needn't trouble you but I can recommend all other aspects. A good documentary though on Paddy Breathnach and his reasons behind this film is sadly lacking. Some comes out in his all too brief interview and the commentary but I would have liked to know more about his own influences.
Well the moral of the story is not to go about taking mushies 5000 miles from your home base with a group of people you most definitely have issues with and where everyone's intent on winding up everyone else in some way shape or form. That aside when I started watching Shrooms I was engrossed, wondering where this would lead, really enjoying the potential it had only for my trip to go bad and once again I was subjugated to a standard beat em up.
It doesn't go into the depravity of some of the more recent so called torture porn style of movie but for me that can only be a good thing. The fact that it didn't fully explore the hallucinatory condition of a group of eclectic teenagers though is the let down; you just know that this could have been so much more and purely for commercial reasons it becomes a little of a cop out. Well we all have to eat I suppose, even Paddy Breathnach and his crew.
It's derivative of a couple of genres and many films but I don't have issue with that really. I think it's worth a watch especially if you're a 'died' in the wool horror fan. For the rest then perhaps a rental, as it's not bad just not fulfilling its ultimate potential and that's a great shame because good psychological horrors are few and far between.
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