The Shrine (2010)
You know, I’ve read a couple of not-so-great reviews for this movie so was hesitant to watch it. But, as they say, one man’s garbage is another man’s gold, so here’s my review.
Carmen, a young reporter for a small newspaper, travels to a rural Polish village investigating the disappearance of an American hiker. Along with her underling, Sara, and boyfriend/photographer, Marcus, she encounters gruff townspeople who are hostile to outsiders and clergymen with strange dress and odd customs. Their somber expressions and suspicious looks sufficiently build the feeling of paranoia. The trio locate the smoky cloud hovering above the treetops as described in the final entry of the hiker’s journal. Moving towards the site they discover it is actually a dense fog in a permanent position in the woods. Entering the thick shroud will unleash a chain of events that bring them face to face with true evil.
The film starts out a bit slow and the acting somewhat stiff early on, but the actors seem to settle into their roles as the film progresses. The plot, action, suspense and pacing just keep escalating as the movie continues. By the end I’m thinking to myself, this is a damn good horror flick. I was impressed with its plot twists and creepy climax. It is one of the better independent horror films I’ve seen in the past few years.
Marcus is played by Aaron Ashmore, who can now be seen in the FBI serial killer, crime drama, The Following on FOX. Composer, Ryan Shore received a Grammy Award for his score in this film. It was directed by Jon Knautz, (is that pronounced, Nuts? Awesome!) who also directed the comedy/horror, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. It is a Canadian film distributed through IFC Pictures. There’s not a lot of gore in the film, but there are some good suspenseful chase scenes as the reporters try desperately to escape the town. There are also some good creepy scenes, entertaining for fans of supernatural horror, movies about cults, and more traditional horror themes.
Uhm, they’re not particularly known for their horror movies…
We are not no. We’re known for films regarding beer and hockey. But we did contribute the goalie mask to horror!
Thanks, we needed that! Didn’t realize you were Canadian. The great white north, eh – (sorry I couldn’t resist).
take off eh! :p
Ooh! Sounds interesting! Thanks for the heads up mate!
I love a good cult film, sounds interesting.
Yeah, even had a little bit of The Wicker Man feel to it.
I watched this one too. It was very good. I liked the creep factor. Kept getting a feeling of foreboding.I They also brought something weird to some of the scenes. Would watch it again.
I’ve found many Canadian movies that were quite good.
Oh, wasn’t there a scene with vegetables or something like that?
I don’t recall vegetables but they did have a guy slaughter HUGE pig.
Just watched it again. Saw the pig but no veggies! Don’t know what I was thinking of. Getting ready to watch The Cabin in the Woods. Have you seen it? If so, is it any good?
Yes, it wasn’t what I expected but in the end I liked it a lot – just keep an open mind 🙂
I started this one but I found it to be slow like you said and kind of amatuerish looking so I bailed. Should I restart it and give it another chance?
Yeah, I think so. After the first act the pacing picks up and the acting gets much better!
Cool. I’m on it. I think it’s still in my Netflix Queue. Thanks bro!
You were right about Cabin in the Woods. I kept an open mind! I liked the movie and loved the ending!
Coolest ending with the surprise guest star. Everyone really kept it a secret, she wasn’t even listed in the credits for a long time.
I know! I was thinking, “I know that voice!” and then there she was. Perfect casting!
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The Shrine is one of my favourites and I’m a big Aaron Ashmore fan; the boy from Richmond and his twin brother, Shawn, are both good actors. Good review. Go Canada indeed.