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The Shrine

3.9 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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(May 08, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Director Jon Knautz (Robert Englund cult fave Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer) returns with a blood-curdling tale of sacrificial cults, demonic possession and ancient evil. After a young American backpacker vanishes in Europe, three journalists trace his disappearance to a mysterious Polish village. They travel there hoping to get the story, but instead find a grotesque, fog-shrouded shrine and hostile locals hell-bent on serving up for their next ritualistic human sacrifice. Praised by such prestigious fan sites as Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting and FearNet, The Shrine features rising stars Aaron Ashmore (TV s Smallville), Meghan Heffern (The Fog) and Cindy Sampson (TV s Supernatural).

DVD Special features include:
Commentary by director Jon Knautz, actor/producer Trevor Matthews, and composer Ryan Shore
Behind-the-scenes footage
Original theatrical trailer
Closed captioning

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Knautz
  • Directors: Jon Knautz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: KimStim
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2012
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0076ZQDVC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,684 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Conner on May 20, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As the years have passed onward for me I find myself filling my dripping horror platter from places such as older films, foreign, and independents much more than anything in the mainstream as of late. The Shrine is a rare and raw piece of celluloid that can be laid at the altar of good films at a time when most are thrown out back for the diseased dogs to eat. It's true there are some things in the movie worth correcting but as it was once said "no work of art is ever completed, only abandoned." To overly-critique this movie is to focus on all that we would like to have instead of all that is before us which is a movie worth watching and deserving of money that's becoming more difficult to earn these days.

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.
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Comment 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Probably the best way to go into a flick like The Shrine is knowing as little about it as possible. Reviewers face a two-edged sword; I think it's recommendable, but if I try to say why, I risk taking the edge off the film's effectiveness. Even saying something as innocent as the film went in a different direction than I thought it would may tip off intelligent horror fans to discard their first impression of the onscreen events and begin extrapolating as to what other explanations are possible.

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.
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Format: DVD
The Shrine is an odd film. It starts with a Hostel-esque premise, and then the stupid kids walk into a fog bank suspended in the middle of a forest. Everything changes. The film turns a corner and leads you down a path than only keeps getting weirder and creepier until the final reveal. Wow! This is what inspired horror movie making is all about, and a rare gem that mostly succeeds where all the mainstream horror movies fail.

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.)
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By Kyle on August 26, 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I'm not one to take the time to write a review about a movie, but this is one of the few that I MUST! I've slowly been getting into horror movies over the last year, and I came across this gem on Netflix. My in for the movie was actor Aaron Ashmore, from Smallville, who I really like, and decided to give it a shot!

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!

Kyle

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!
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