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Top Customer Reviews
The Shrine is set in a modern time yet pre-industrialized Eastern European town where food and supplies are produced, not bought. The xenophobic townspeople are more concerned with making do and being left alone than for the modern conveniences of the first-world mega-nations. This film is about what happens when overly curious, intrusive Americans march onward into this set aside village and the consequences for the modern not paying homage to the ancient traditions of others in this surreal, mysterious hamlet.
The main characters are not to be respected though you may find yourself feeling sympathy for them. They are arrogant, disrespectful, and rude. As their fate becomes known to you the vague thought of "you asked for it" begins to prevail and not with a sense of remorse. The director clearly has some political opinions yearning to be expressed but it's not revealing unless truly examined.Read more ›
So I'll try to keep it short. Three American journalists go to Poland to find out what happened to a missing backpacker whom the audience already knows has met with a sad end. Before they know it, they've repeated his mistakes, and those who took care of the backpacker are ready to make sure the journalists pay the full price for their trespasses.
What separates this movie from scores of others which begin in similar ways are the little touches the filmmakers add. One of the most effective is that when the journalists arrive in the backwater village in Poland, most of the residents speak only Polish, rather than resorting to the silly idea that English is so universal that everyone must know it. Of those who do speak it, there are plausible enough reasons why, and I respect the director for granting the audience a measure of intelligence to be able to follow along without holding our hand the entire way and subtitling the foreign language dialog. Another is the extreme creepiness of the encounter with 'the shrine' itself. I found it very unnerving.
Combine the deft plotting with competent acting, as well as the other small touches, and the deficencies in the film seem minor or invisible. Keep your expectations reasonable and chances are you will find this a nice turn from your average horror film.
To be fair, the production standards where not altogether top notch (too much green screen work), but it's obvious that majority of the budget was spent on the special effects. The cast was also uneven (Cindy Sampson could not carry the picture even with all of Aaron Ashmore's help). Also, the director lingers too long on certain shots, and fails to pick up the pace when the story races out from under him.
Nonetheless, this is still highly recommended for those who like supernatural horror. (Finally available to own on DVD, although you can stream it on Netflix.)
I'm glad I did. The story starts out very simple, three Americans travel to a small farming village in Poland to investigate the disappearance of a guy who went missing, and over the years several others have as well. Also, the last thing I'll tell you about the plot is there is a mysterious fog in the woods that doesn't seem to go away, and seems to lead the group to that spot.
A forewarning, once the action and horror really begin, most of the actors speak in Polish, and they're aren't subtitles during these scenes. I really appreciated the movie makers doing this, because clearly the Polish characters know full well what's going on in the story; but for the audience, we are following the Americans who have no idea what they're saying. THAT ADDS TREMENDOUS SUSPENSE TO THE PLOT! Since we have no idea what's going on, and it really adds to the horror and terror of the story.
By the end, you'll mostly figure out what has happened, but I do recommend if you have any questions to check out the wiki page, it helped clear a few things up!
Also, I purchased the Blu Ray, and the picture quality is AMAZING. I recommend whichever version you can get, but extra kudos to the Blu Ray!
P.S. - No idea if they'll ever make a prequel, but I would love to know how the fog ended up there in the first place. I bet the writers could make a really interesting story out of that one!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The synopsis and other reviewers on Amazon tell you all you need to know. Sit back and prepare to be disturbed!Published 1 month ago by westicles
I really liked this. It was different -- and a little bit of a twist at the end. At first you may think it is your typical American that disappeared and was mysteriously murdered... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Beth Jackson
Three American tourists find religion while touring the Polish country side. @funnyseancPublished 3 months ago by @FunnySeanC
There are a lot of good reviews for this movie! My simple addition to the reviews would be this: I enjoyed "The Shrine" the 1st time around, even though there are no... Read morePublished 15 months ago by TheCounsel
I'm a big horror fan and usually find these movies a bit samey but the shrine is different and is a really great movie, basically a group of young journalists are investigating the... Read morePublished 19 months ago by SDX
This film has quite a few flaws, but despite it all, it delivers enough creepy scenes and unexpected twists to keep me happy. Read morePublished on February 11, 2014 by Z Hayes