MUSHROOMS is a new genre movie from Poland (org. title: Grzyby). The plot feels like a deranged fairytale, but it’s set in a very real world. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the ending took my breath away. Fantastic Fest 2023 World Premiere. Read our full Mushrooms movie review here!
MUSHROOMS is a new movie from Poland (org. title: Grzyby) that’s getting its world premiere at Fantastic Fest 2023. It’s difficult to say too much without giving away key elements. What I can and will say is that this movie is right in line with the other amazing genre movies we’ve screened at Fantastic Fest 2023.
The key plot element is mystery. We never quite know what’s going on – and neither do all, if any, of the characters – but we’re very eager to get answers. In this movie, just like the other Fantastic Fest 2023 screenings, you will be getting answers. For me, the ending of Mushrooms is what made it absolutely and terrifyingly brilliant. I just did not see it coming. At all!
Continue reading our Mushrooms movie review below.
A fairytale turned nightmare
When Mushrooms begins, we see an old lady out foraging. She is (very appropriately) collecting mushrooms and herbs in a forest where she clearly feels very much at home. When she comes across a brutal trap, she’s quick to remove it to a place where animals won’t get caught.
She even removes insects gently before picking anything, so we know she’s very much in tune with nature and seems to be both wise and kind.
Suddenly, her solitude is broken when she stumbles upon a young couple. Or actually, when she sees them in the tall grass, she tries to sneak away in the opposite direction. Clearly not interested in having to interact with other people.
The young man of the couple sees her and begs her for help. They’ve gotten lost and have no idea how to get out of the forest. The couple is dressed up in clothes that feel very out of place; Like a prince and princess of sorts. Something out of a fairytale, which the old lady is quick to comment on.
Of course, one could argue that she herself looks like a witch (good or bad?) out of a fairytale.
Whatever the case, the old lady agrees to help them after the man explains the situation. Still, the old lady senses something isn’t right with the couple, so she’s watching them intensely and appears to notice everything. Plus, the young man seems to have serious bladder issues as he constantly runs off to relieve himself.
The Mushrooms ending I just did not see coming
Please trust me when I say that you do not need to know more than mentioned in the above segment. Knowing too much will only ruin the movie-watching experience. The whole mystery element in particular.
Mushrooms has an ending that hit me like the most brutal left hook I really did not see coming.
The story of Mushrooms may be slow-burn, but it’s never boring and keeps the audience in a constant state of suspense and doubt. You will doubt everything you hear and see, just as the old lady does. And the young couple for that matter. Who can you trust and what is really going on?!
When the Mushrooms ending comes around, you’ll finally understand exactly what you’ve just been watching. And the realization will hit you. Hard!
Mushrooms is world premiering at Fantastic Fest 2023
The runtime of Mushrooms is just under 70 minutes, which is another small stroke of genius by filmmaker Paweł Borowski. This is his third feature film, and it is brave and ballsy as hell.
There’s some important information added at the end of this Polish movie (org. title Grzyby). It comes right after the ending and will help you understand the full context of the story, you’ve just watched.
The detail of stating both that this is a story based on facts and that it “may or may not have happened” is pure brilliance. I haven’t watched the previous two movies from Paweł Borowski – who started his career by directing a ton of commercials – but he’s certainly on my radar now. I will not be forgetting Mushrooms any time soon, which is exactly as it should be.
Mushrooms is getting its world premiere at Fantastic Fest 2023. We’ll update this with wider release dates as soon as we have them.
Writer/Director: Paweł Borowski
Cast: Jędrzej Bigosiński, Maria Maj, Paulina Walendziak
An old lady stumbles upon a lost couple while picking mushrooms. They beg for help getting out of the forest, but she senses that something is off.