Film Review: The Shrine (2010)


The cover for The Shrine alone is creepy, but when the story started with a reporter and her boyfriend having relationship problems, I was skeptical.

The premise is pretty standard. A reporter (Cindy Sampson), her photographer boyfriend (Aaron Ashmore), and her assistant (Meghan Heffern), go to Poland to investigate the story of a missing college student. Somehow his luggage was found and sent back to his mother, and she let the reporters read his journal. They found out that he was backpacking through Europe and had stayed in a barn outside of a weird little village. After reading about the strange fog that never left the woods, the journalists decide that they must go to see for themselves.

The ShrineI was happy that at this point, the writers didn’t try to “build suspense,” by dragging the trip out or adding foretelling events. They didn’t retrace his steps or get a creepy hotel room or anything like that. They simply went to the village. It was also refreshing that the fighting between the boyfriend and girlfriend was only brought up once during their trip.

The reporters don’t really speak Polish, and very few of the villagers speak English. It was disappointing that the English that the villagers did speak wasn’t more broken, because the language barrier is a key plot point. Not being able to tell what the villagers were saying to each other is essential; if you do speak Polish, you probably won’t enjoy the movie as much.

After venturing into the fog in the woods and finding a strange statue, the Americans are attacked by the villagers. They assume the missing student was killed there, but because of the language barrier, they don’t get the whole story.

From there, the movie escalates. The rituals are gory and horrifying, just about right. There is a twist at the end, which is probably easy to guess even though I wasn’t expecting it. But even if you do guess it, the events are still entertaining.

As skeptical as I was about The Shrine being a mediocre movie, I enjoyed it more as it went along.

Rating: 4.5/5 ★★★★½ 


About Michelle_H

Michelle Hartz, Ph.Z., is the Graphic Designer at Baugh Enterprises, specializing in design for print and promotional products. She is also the Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo) in Bloomington, Indiana. Michelle has published two of her NaNoWriMo books: Helpless, a horror story set on a wind farm; and Brains for the Zombie Soul, a parody containing nearly 101 heartwarming and inspirational stories celebrating the differently animated.

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