The Shrine Review

Shrine starts out as many a horror film does with a tense scene where we see some poor schmoe get off’d in ritualistic style. Sadly there isn’t much blood, or indication as to why this is going on. But then that is the point. This we are all sure will be revealed as the film continues.

Enter Carmen, a hungry journalist eager to follow up on a missing persons in Europe story against her editor’s wishes.  So she takes her plucking you assistant Sara (whose last name may as well be deadmeat) and her slightly estranged boyfriend Marcus with her.  As this trip is on the sly – they are already at the disadvantage of not many people knowing where they have gone.

Once they get to the right place in Poland and start snooping around the local fields and barns they are instantly treated in a hostile manner by the locals, which of course only arouses their suspicions all the more and well – one thing leads to another and before you know it they have encountered some strange mist, seen a bleeding statue and ended up on the run for their lives from the old pitchfork wielding locals who are after them.

The problem with The Shrine is that it takes so long to get going. True, this helps pay off the third act which finally ramps up the action and finally a bit of gore as well. But the set up (especially the first act) is so dull and plain in its dialogue that you’d be best making conversation with a viewing partner as you watch the film.

But to the film’s credit it does offer up a neat twist towards the end (ok so they have borrowed a thing or two from other films – but who doesn’t anymore?). The finale is where the entertainment is, and it is odd if anything to have a film that slowly gets better as you watch it as opposed to just losing all of its power towards the end.

As this is a new film, the Blu-ray looks good, but it’s extras free.

Steven Hurst

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