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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old School Cultism
Two female journalists, with one of their husbands in tow, defy their editor and head off to Poland to investigate a spate of missing persons reports.

They arrive in a rural backwater where a strange cloud hangs over the local forest, and a strangely-garbed group of priests hold sway. Believing that the strong, aggressive warnings by locals to stay away after...
Published on 17 April 2012 by Green Man Music

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, not so bad
If you've seen more than two horror films since the nineteen seventies, you've probably seen a car load of good looking Americans going somewhere they shouldn't and running into something they wished they hadn't.

Sometimes it's rednecks, other times monsters and occasionally plants and flesh-eating diseases. The Shrine is just another one to be added to the...
Published on 3 Mar 2012 by Albatross


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old School Cultism, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: The Shrine [DVD] (DVD)
Two female journalists, with one of their husbands in tow, defy their editor and head off to Poland to investigate a spate of missing persons reports.

They arrive in a rural backwater where a strange cloud hangs over the local forest, and a strangely-garbed group of priests hold sway. Believing that the strong, aggressive warnings by locals to stay away after they show around photos of the latest missing person indicate complicity in the disappearances, they venture towards the fog-shrouded forest, where the girls stumble across a gargoyle-like statue with a hideous grin (reminded me a bit of an evil version of the statue in The Keeper Of Traken).

After they emerge from the forest, nothing is quite the same - and now the locals are determined that they are most definitely not leaving.

This is a very old-school style horror, back to an era of weird cults and curses and the problems that outsiders bring to backwaters guarding terrible secrets.

The acting is reasonable, but it's the story and the overall atmosphere that I enjoyed the most about this film. It has something of films like Rawhead Rex about it, and if you enjoy that genre, you will probably enjoy this.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An effective horror, 12 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Shrine [DVD] (DVD)
This was an effective horror film. The characters were sympathetic, the special effects were realistic, the setting was atmospheric, there was a feeling of sustained suspense, there were a few shocks and there was a twist in the plot. It was not the very best film of its kind, but it was a good film. The only slightly strange element was the fact that much of the speech was in Polish without any subtitles, but perhaps this was intended to help the viewer share the sense of disorientation which the American characters would have experienced. How much more terrible to be isolated in a location where no-one speaks your language or chooses not to!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, not so bad, 3 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Shrine [DVD] (DVD)
If you've seen more than two horror films since the nineteen seventies, you've probably seen a car load of good looking Americans going somewhere they shouldn't and running into something they wished they hadn't.

Sometimes it's rednecks, other times monsters and occasionally plants and flesh-eating diseases. The Shrine is just another one to be added to the genre.

Three journalists travel to Poland (as far as I know not known for its rednecks, monsters or flesh-eating bacteria) in search of a missing boy. They find... well, let's just say they should probably have stayed in a Starbucks restaurant in New York.

I've seen dozens of films like this and what makes them either good or bad is, in my opinion, whether the characters are likeable and whether or not they behave in a way we can relate to. Of course, like in any horror film, many won't make the final reel, but at least in The Shrine you can tick both counts. The characters are decent enough to relate to (okay, so no major character development, but it has gore, so that's a good substitute, right?) and, if you can ignore them going to an out-of-the-way Polish village in the first place, they don't spend the rest of the movie running headlong into obviously dangerous situations.

Obviously, there's better out there and this one never borrows elements from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Hostel and even the Exorcist, but still it should keep you entertained for an hour and a half.

Note: if you ever go to Poland... don't look at their statues
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A horror film that could have been better, 2 Sep 2012
By 
Mr. J. Ryden (In your mind, in the part you've forgotten about.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Shrine [DVD] (DVD)
If you're a horror afficianado you'll trawl through hours and hours of guff in search of the film to creep you out more than the first horror film you ever saw (which, let's face it sets the benchmark); in my case it was Evil Dead at the age of 12. More often than not you'll end up with a duffer which you only persevere with for the inevitable gore. The Shrine is one such addition to the horror genre.

Okay, tenuous plot as follows: failing journalist, and her trusty intern, persuades photographer (oh, that's lucky) boyfriend to travel to Poland to investigate the case of an American tourist going missing. Her editor has an assignment to investigate declining bee populations but apparently this scoop is worth travelling half way across the world for.

Now, cast-wise the only character I rooted for was the photographer boyfriend, the other two did nothing to engender the least bit of empathy. The greatest cardinal sin was the film's over-reliance on ludicrous decision making to propel the plot. Honestly, that's one of my biggest bug bears in horror films. Sure, the director has to orchestrate death scenes but the individual character decisions have to be credible.

On the plus side the death scenes are macabre and very much wince inducing. The only thing rescuing The Shrine from dreck status was the rug-pulling plot device in the final third which I thought very clever. The remaining cast speak mainly in Polish with no subtitles, which in hindsight was necessary to keep the viewer in the dark.

In short, a reasonable horror film let down by dodgy plot and characters hard to care about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Chilling Horror - The Exorcist meets Hostel, 5 Oct 2014
By 
William Mason (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Shrine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is an effective and well executed horror film. A young American backpacker, Eric, goes missing while travelling through Poland. Three American journalists, Carmen, Sarah and Marcus, decide to investigate the disappearance and they end up in a small Polish village called Alvania. The locals are like an Amish community, wearing clothing from a century ago, and they soon let the young American trio know, in no uncertain terms, that they are not welcome.
However, the strange behaviour of the villagers only serves to heighten the curiosity of the Americans even more, and they start searching the creepy local woods for signs of Eric. Predictably enough, the villagers trap the three journalists, using extreme violence.
One of the trio, Sarah, becomes the human sacrifice in a very disturbing ritual, which certainly had me grimacing. Hints are dropped that the villagers are more than mere devil worshippers, that they might be something altogether more depraved and diabolical. The locals have actually summoned a demon spirit, which possesses Carmen, and what follows then is a very polished fight for survival between the demon and the townsfolk.
The film has a short running time, only 1 hour and fifteen minutes, which is actually a good thing, because not a single minute is wasted. The three journalists are well drawn, likeable characters, which means that you actually feel involved in what happens to them.
The fact that Carmen is a truly stunning Latin beauty is an added bonus, at least for male viewers. The villagers are suitably baleful and malignant. The scenes of violence are sporadic, but more than graphic and disturbing enough to satisfy most horror fans. The make up effects when Carmen is possessed are excellent.
The film seems to be a collage of various brilliant horror films, including The Wicker Man, The Exorcist, and Hostel, but who cares so long as the end product hits the target, and this one certainly does - Wicker Man - 3-Disc 40th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] The Exorcist [Blu-ray + UV Copy] [1973] [Region Free] Hostel - Part I-III Box Set [DVD] .
As soon as I'd seen this film, I purchased the blu ray, because I felt that it would be a strong addition to my collection of about 200 horror films. Highly recommended for all horror aficionados.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "..A COOL SCARY FUN OCCULT HORROR..", 14 Oct 2014
By 
S. Drury "SDX-800" (U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Shrine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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 disappearance of a number of hitchhikers who have suddenly gone missing at around the same place, a small remote town in Poland, when they arrive they do not get a warm welcome and suddenly suspect they are onto something, once they start to snoop around they realise they are dealing with dark forces the supernatural the occult! The movie has an old-school feel to it with some very evil dead style moments with the demons etc, there is some nice gore and blood all good practical looking effects, the cast is good too, it certainly is a well paced freaky movie with some cool scares etc, really worth taking a look if you like a good horror movie! There was only one slight annoyance with the fact some of the characters are speaking polish in the movie and there are no subtitles for them so you have to imagine what they must be saying! But this is quite a gem I think and worth going back to!

Blu-ray has good picture quality (Arrow films release)
No special features which is a shame.
Region B, 81mins, 2010.
Comes in a nice slim case like USA releases!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Horror with a difference, 1 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Shrine [DVD] (DVD)
Different and intriguing going with full on suspense and not giving all away until near the end. Horror is involved and plenty of that. A young backpacker disappears after going to a remote village, known as a bizarre cult place that have human sacrifices, Well everyone is different are we not, followed by a group of journalist who are determine to find the truth and put these rumours to rest. Now no more clues as there is a lot more to go but I will let you decide what you think. I rated this an A grade plus for suspense as there is plenty of that and with a few ideas thrown in that will keep you amused all the way through. Entertainment plus so what are you waiting for gather up the popcorn, collect the movie, sit upright so you can make a fast getaway when the horror starts or have the remote control handy. Marvellous acting with a fabulous story that you won't regret watching oh by the way I forgot to mention to have some one with you to keep you company, you'll need it. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clever and exciting supernatural horror-thriller, 31 May 2012
This review is from: The Shrine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The Shrine knows what makes a good horror tick and works with it. Flawed characters? Got them: Aaron Ashmore ('Marcus') and Cindy Sampson ('Carmen') play a hard-headed photographer and a flint-edged determined reporter. He's bitter and angry, she's self-centred and recklessly ambitious. Need some disharmony? Got that: their relationship is thoroughly on the rocks as a result of her career slump. All any good horror needs then is the carrot to lead them into harm's way. We get that in the form of a mystery that Carmen thinks will bust her out of her career rut - people have been going missing and she thinks she knows where. Roping a naive intern into her scheme, she drags them to central Europe to an intensely remote rural village, and things start to get weird for the group...
The movie mines the same gold-vein as Hostel in having overconfident Americans stumbling around in a land where they don't know the customs or intentions of the locals, and it has a great atmosphere of distrust and suspicion even before they get to the central mystery.
While it's obvious they're going to get into trouble, the film's strength is in taking what you think you know and using it to tease and tantalise you. The horror scenes are squirm inducing, there's a lot of blood, but it's matched with atmosphere and chills. There's also a nice twist which you can see coming, but which is good enough regardless. With a great showdown style ending, easily the creepiest use of a statue since The Exorcist, and some well-utilised European bleakness, this is a gem among the 'scary Europeans' pretenders.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Horror without a reason, 16 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Shrine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
This is horror without a reason. Three Americans go to Poland to investigate the disappearance of a missing American.

There's some kind of static fog - that is it just sits there and never goes away. They are chased away by locals but insist on going back into the fog. Only the two women do. And for some reason, emerging from the fog they are going to be possessed.

There is no reason that I could see for this.

The locals have to try and get the girls and smash a metal face-mask onto them (see front cover).

Given that now even more Americans are going to go missing you'd think more people would be involved in why they've vanished.

This didn't make any sense.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good!, 26 Oct 2014
By 
Adrian Drew (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Shrine [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Despite several negative reviews - and a very bloody climax - this low budget shocker is well acted and surprisingly effective. With elements of several classic movies from Barbara Steele's "Black Sabbath" to up to the minute horror flics too "The Shrine" still manages to deliver some surprises on route by way of the role reversal wherebye the male character is secondary to the assertive female lead - although she still eventually gets her "comeuppance"! It's not a great movie but is certainly better than many and the blu ray transfer is excellent! Recommended with qualifications!
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The Shrine [DVD]
The Shrine [DVD] by Jon Knautz (DVD - 2012)
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