The Shrine focuses on Carmen, an overly ambitious journalist who is tired of covering bee stories so as a result she will put herself and family into huge mess of frightening trouble. Carmen’s boss sends her on a trip to write another story about a bee attack but Carmen has a better story she’d rather cover. Instead she goes to Poland to search for a missing backpacker and brings along her intern and her photographer boyfriend who she hasn’t been showing any love to.
The missing backpacker was last seen near a creepy little town in the isolated countryside of rural Poland. Once Carmen and her small crew arrive, they begin their snooping. The group runs into a creepy little girl and her loud Polish-speaking father angrily tells them to get away from here…or so we think. There were no subtitles so I’m just assuming he told them to get away. Carmen is very determined and really wants to get her story, so she doesn’t listen to a word of what the angry Polish man says. In fact, this makes Carmen want to investigate even more. Why the other two follow and listen to Carmen is beyond me. While investigating in the middle of the woods, the three find a heavy swirl of fog and decide to check out what lies beneath the fog.
Turns out that this swirl of unnatural creepy fog is actually circulating around a demon statue. Sure, it doesn’t look too creepy until it starts to bleed! There’s something absolutely crazy going on in this town and it means that this trio is ultimately screwed! There are angry Polish villagers, a bleeding demon statue and a haunted thick swirl of fog chasing after them. There are so many strange things going on that ultimately lead to many questions; what’s the deal with the fog? Is it a curse? What are the kids in these films always creepy? And what happened to that missing backpacker? Instead of me spoiling the film, I’ll stop right here and let you answer those questions for yourself by watching the film.
Overall, I recommend The Shrine to everyone. It was very enjoyable from the start to finish with a slow burn throughout. However, it wasn’t a bad slow burn, it sets itself up appropriately. One of the best things about is is how creepy it was. There were very few jump scares. The director actually tried to tackle this film with actual scares. The look and feel of the film was awesome and definitely eerie. The actors/actresses were very solid. There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the film that made me cringe. The ending left things very open-ended by perhaps that was to leave things open for a sequel.
WICKED RATING: 6/10
Director: Jon Knautz
Writer(s): Jon Knautz, Brendan Moore
Stars: Aaron Ashmore, Cindy Sampson, Meghan Heffern
Studio/ Production Co: Wesley Clover Media
Budget: CAD 1,500,000
Length: 86 Minutes