Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pointless Twist Ending: Shrooms

Something I'm hoping to make a regular article I write is that of movies with twist endings that really didn't need to happen. I would like to focus on movies that weren't that bad or that really didn't need the twist in the end. I mean, after The Sixth Sense and The Usual Suspects, it seemed like everything needed a twist ending. I'm gonna tell you a couple of things right now: a few movies did that before our modern era (anyone remember Psycho or Friday the 13th?) and your movie doesn't need a twist to be good! A lot of very successful movies don't have twist endings. In fact, most don't! I might actually delve into some pretty bad movies with this eventually, but for now, like I said, I'll try to focus on movies that had some redeeming qualities. And for the record, I'm not going to talk about High Tension because we all know the ending was needlessly convoluted but the rest of the movie was pretty awesome. That's been done to death, I don't need to do that anymore.

As a disclaimer, I'm going to tell you *THERE WILL BE SPOILERS!* I figure that should be somewhat obvious, considering I'm talking about the end of a film, but just so I said it.



So, for the first run of this, I've picked Shrooms, a slasher film from 2007 about teens that go camping during some big bloom of mushrooms and then get wasted from them. Of course, camping in the middle of nowhere while doing drugs and having sex couldn't possibly have any repercussions. It wasn't anything ground breaking or even terribly good, but it was at least fairly enjoyable and had some enjoyable parts to it. But the end just reeked of a tacked on thought by the screenwriter. It's either that or they decided they wanted to be the next M. Night Shyamalan. In any event, let's get to what I am talking about.

Throughout the movie, they talk about an asylum that exists in the woods they are in. As a character tells the story, you discover that there were some monks (I don't recall what the name they were called was and can't seem to find it on a quick perusal of Google) who were given all the bad kids of the town to whip them into shape. Apparently, they routinely beat the kids savagely and even killed some of them. So there was a set of twins that the brothers tortured and killed one of and made the other watch. Afterward, the one left was called "The Lonely Twin". Apparently, this kid made one of the most evil monks drink some poisonous mushroom tea and the monk went batshit fuckcrazy and killed everyone else in the monastery. So the story is that the monk and lonely twin still stalk the area, killing off hapless victims as they see fit.

This makes for some very interesting scenes where you get a hooded figure (the monk) or a little boy with a bag on his head (similar to The Orphanage) running around and scaring the shit out of the campers. The ghouls are unstoppable and seem to pop out of nowhere. The kills are fairly entertaining and the ghosts of these tragic characters really add an otherworldly dread to the film. What do you do when you're being stalked by vengeful fucking ghosts? You get the fuck out of the woods and never return!

Well, in the end, you are down to the main guy who told the story and the main girl who ate a bad shroom and has been having visions of the rest of the kids dying the whole movie. Well, in a pointless twist, you find that she's been killing all the rest of the kids off in a drug induced haze (which she discovers through a series of flashbacks in an ambulance). She figures it out, kills an ambulance driver, runs out the vehicle, and goes back to the woods to presumably find more shrooms for her next psychedelic murder spree.

My big problem was that the movie wasn't that bad. They spent the whole time building up this supernatural aspect and actually bring you to the insane asylum in the end of the movie! The monk and lonely twin are actually creepy and compelling killers, making it that much worse when you find it's some blond twat on a bad trip that's been killing her friends. Plus the shrooms she eats, in addition to being poisonous, allow her to "see the future", so she spends most of the movie having these flashes of her friends dying. But as it turns out, it was just her planning her kills. It makes the whole film feel watered down. Like I said, it's not a particularly awesome movie anyway, but if they had left it a bit more preternatural, it would have been a better movie.

That's the first in this series of articles! Hopefully more to come!

10 comments:

  1. I loved this movie and I totally dug the ending - I took it all as the bad trip that it was [I think the story was just that - a story/urban legend that the character told to scare the others] I would have felt let down had the story actually been factual. . .

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  2. i like that movie it was awesome ending that she east the black nipple shroom or whatever and started killing everyone like in the story he told

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  3. i thought the ending was right because the story Jake tells in the beginning got in her head while she was tripping causing her to fulfill the story. it makes sense in that aspect of it... except when she killed the driver

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  4. I think the ending was excellent. I'm not 100% sure but I don't think she escaped from the ambulance and ran off for more mushrooms, I think that when you see her running in the end she in her head still thinks of herself as the victim subconsciously, still in her drug haze. Even though she eventually figures it out in flash backs, she was still tripping after all. In the beginning when she explains that she is excited to finally get away and get wasted of shrooms where he father doesn't need to find out, It shows how captivated she is in her life. She needs to feel some what free of it. Therefor, her persona is labeled with the motif of being a victim. I agree with the other comment that over hearing the ghost story did make her think she could fulfil that story. You need to put yourself in the characters shoes, neither of them have the right mind set, and it's up to us as the viewers to decide when they were tripping and what they really saw. They all got spooked from the story and that's what played a big part of their trip. Hope this helps on some more insight on the film. I believe if you dig deep into it it's very interesting and rather great.

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  5. I actually loved the ending and didn't think it was just "tacked" on, the writers actually alluded and hinted toward it throughout the whole movie. For me the best part, and one I only thought about after the movie (I finished watching it a half hour ago and it came to me like ten minutes ago) is that when the guy is first telling the story he says something along the lines of, the scariest stories are ones that are true because you know that they could happen to you. This is great because they build up that supernatural element but then reveal that it isn't something supernatural at all and could, in fact, happen to you. For me that made it a fair bit scarier than some supernatural non-sense that really couldn't happen.

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  6. THE ENDING WAS SHIT. WHY WOULD YOU KILL THE AMBULANCE DRIVER?

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  7. The movie was pretty good, apart from the ending. It just seemed a bit tacked on, like you said.

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  8. I have mixed emotions about the ending. It did seem a bit tacked on, maybe because the writer was running out of ways that the movie could end, while still being logical at the same time. I'm still a bit confused as to if Tara was still tripping in the ambulance or not (because that was when she realized that she had killed her friends) and then she killed the ambulance guy? Doesn't make sense to me. Like at that moment did she decide she was insane? Or was she still tripping? It doesn't seem fair that they get you all worked up and spooked about a supernatural force and then it just ends up being the girl. Kind of disappointing I guess you could say. But the writer probably did that on purpose so it would get the audience's minds stuck on thinking that there was some kind of ghost instead of actually thinking of the other possibilities. I do think it was sneaky and a way of making it a big surprise to everyone. Basically, the ending should have been explained a little bit better because so much is happening so fast it's too much to grasp at one time.

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  9. Yea but if it was all about the supernatural it would have all seemed played out and obvious that the monk was real and i think the writer did a good job with the movie i just didnt think the death of the ambulance driver seemed relevant

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