When prim and proper Tara (Lindsey Haun) joins a bunch of friends on a trip to Ireland her real goal was to strike a romance with a foreign friend of the gang, the Irish local Jake (Jack Huston, the latest entrant in the Huston thespian dynasty). Her friends on the other hand have a slightly more mischievous goal of having Jake, a connoisseur of the hallucinogenic fungi, host them to a wild ‘Magic” mushroom camping trip.
As Jake drives the vacationers deep into lush and damp forests of the Emerald Isle the trip is temporarily marred when their camper van runs into a wild goat only to have a pair of hillbillies gladly scamper off with the roadkill, presumably for dinner. Later while harvesting the psilocybin mushrooms Jake neglects to inform everyone in the party that they are to avoid the similar looking “Death’s Head” Shrooms as their effects go way beyond mere head trips and can lead to paralysis and even death. Unaware of this little fact Tara ingests a Death’s Head and has a near deadly convulsing episode.
As Tara recovers later that night Jake entertains the others with a campfire tale of the Legend of the Black Brothers a religious order who ran a young offenders institution in the area. Suffice to say that local legend has it that the lone surviving victim of the most sadistic of the Black Brothers is said to roam to forests. Tara begins to experience both sightings of shadowy figures while at the same time having premonitions of ill fated demises of her friends as they begin to disperse and disappear in the backwoods. Is the legend true or are Tara’s experiences all in her head?
You would think that the filmmakers would capitalize on the possibility that Tara may merely be experiencing a distorted perception of events and her surroundings as it is made clear that that is one of the effects of the mushrooms. But unfortunately this is only hinted at briefly and then discarded as the plot evolves into a ‘by the numbers’ horror in the woods suspense with the archetypal Scooby gang as fodder (jock, primadonna, stoner, outsider, etc.) Worse yet, we have little empathy for the group of snot nosed friends as they can barely tolerate and take every opportunity to backstab one another. The hillbillies do figure in the plot but only as a distraction that further complicates the viewers take on what’s really going on. What we do get is a lot of running around, glimpses and hints of some feral child or animal, and a lot of psychotropic visuals.
The film’s marketing tagline is “Get ready to be wasted” but I didn’t realize that that would include my time watching this tale from the Land of Leprechauns. This is one bad trip and you’d be better of settling for a bowl of Lucky Charms. At least “They’re Magically Delicious!”