THE SHRINE Movie Review
Based on the description I was pretty excited to sit down and see what horror film THE SHRINE had to offer! I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t disappointed.
The premise of The Shrine is this: There are two American journalists that decide to follow up on a lead of a missing person. Said guy disappeared in Alvania Poland, and Cameron and Sara set off to find out if this was just a random disappearance or if there was something more sinister at work. Cameron’s photographer boyfriend, Marcus also comes along for the ride.
Turns out that this tiny Polish village isn’t the most welcoming to strangers, but the three continue on their merry way, using the missing guy’s journal as a map of sorts to guide them through the village. They arrive in the woods at this fog that only covers a specific area of the forest. And of course, being a horror movie, the two girls decide to wander inside.
From here on out The Shrine just keeps getting building the tension until I found myself tensing so much that when my cell phone vibrated I almost jumped out of my skin. There is a certain disorientating aspect to The Shrine I felt worked in this particular instance, unlike most horror films.
Overall, The Shrine was great – it had scares in all the right places, and just the right amount of gore without being over the top. The acting was also something that needs to be talked about. Cameron is played by Cindy Sampson (who I know from The CW’s Supernatural), and as the main protagonist, she was fantastic. She seems to actually CARE that she put herself and her friends into this position, and really, REALLY tries to make things even a LITTLE better.
Marcus is played by X-Men’s Aaron Ashmore, and personally, he was my favorite character in the film. His actions and reactions were believable, and unlike most horror movies, I was pleasantly surprised to see that he didn’t do anything INCREDIBLY stupid to try to save the day.
While The Shrine was good, there were a few things that need to be mentioned. There were points when the villagers speak in Polish, and there were no subtitles. I can normally handle that, it puts the audience in the character’s position – they certainly had no idea what was being said, either – however in this instance, what was being said seemed sort of important to the plot. I just wished I would’ve had a FEW subtitles.
There were a few pieces of The Shrine that I had figured out from the start, but it could just be because I’m desensitized to horror movies and can pretty much figure out the plot before it’s revealed. It’s a useless talent.
The only other complaint (if you can call it that) that I have is the fact that the three main characters seemed unconcerned at specific points in the film when I (and I like to think most people) would have been a little more nervous, but hey – it’s a movie, right? Other than those minor things (which is just me being nit-picky, really) The Shrine was an excellent horror movie that will keep you entertained and provides a few scares for even the veteran horror watcher!
The Shrine will be available on demand from IFC Midnight, via Comcast, Cox, Cablevision, Time Warner, and Bright House starting July 15.
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