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The Shrine

Aaron Ashmore , Cindy Sampson , Jon Knautz    DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 29.95
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Product Description

After a young American backpacker goes missing in Europe, a group of journalists link his disappearance to a remote village. They travel there hoping to investigate, but soon encounter a series of bizarre occurrences – an otherworldly cloud of fog, a haunting statue drenched in blood, and a chamber of decaying bodies. They were warned to get out, but now that they’ve discovered the town’s deadly secret, the locals won’t let them leave…

Review

"A diabolically effective, dead-serious shocker." -- Mitch Davis, FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

"The ending will blow you away! Horror fans will be pleased." -- I AM ROGUE

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Foreign Film Aug. 19 2013
Format:DVD
I first found this movie on Netflix and decided to give it a shot. I ended up being a really great film and very underrated. The story is solid and interesting with some mystery thrown in. The acting was good as well. There are no subtitles to help you understand what the Poles are saying, but that's part of the point of the film; I won't say what that is exactly, you'll have to find out for yourself. I recommend this film to those who enjoy a good horror with a good story line and no sex-and-nudity scenes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Wait For Movies Like This May 20 2012
By A. Conner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As the years have passed onward for me I find myself filling my dripping horror platter from places such as older films, foreign, and independents much more than anything in the mainstream as of late. The Shrine is a rare and raw piece of celluloid that can be laid at the altar of good films at a time when most are thrown out back for the diseased dogs to eat. It's true there are some things in the movie worth correcting but as it was once said "no work of art is ever completed, only abandoned." To overly-critique this movie is to focus on all that we would like to have instead of all that is before us which is a movie worth watching and deserving of money that's becoming more difficult to earn these days.

The Shrine is set in a modern time yet pre-industrialized Eastern European town where food and supplies are produced, not bought. The xenophobic townspeople are more concerned with making do and being left alone than for the modern conveniences of the first-world mega-nations. This film is about what happens when overly curious, intrusive Americans march onward into this set aside village and the consequences for the modern not paying homage to the ancient traditions of others in this surreal, mysterious hamlet.

The main characters are not to be respected though you may find yourself feeling sympathy for them. They are arrogant, disrespectful, and rude. As their fate becomes known to you the vague thought of "you asked for it" begins to prevail and not with a sense of remorse. The director clearly has some political opinions yearning to be expressed but it's not revealing unless truly examined.

Eastern Europe with their olden, gothic histories is a birthing chamber for horror yet untapped by most American filmakers perhaps because most have such a limited understanding of how movies should be made; meaning for effect, not money. This director had a vision for this film's potential and that is not only clearly evident while watching, but appreciated.

While viewing this piece, try not to obsess with the trivial shortcomings that this film may express yet focus on what this movie is, a wonderful piece that deserves recognition and praise.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep your expectations in check and enjoy! Nov. 11 2012
By The Chief - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Probably the best way to go into a flick like The Shrine is knowing as little about it as possible. Reviewers face a two-edged sword; I think it's recommendable, but if I try to say why, I risk taking the edge off the film's effectiveness. Even saying something as innocent as the film went in a different direction than I thought it would may tip off intelligent horror fans to discard their first impression of the onscreen events and begin extrapolating as to what other explanations are possible.

So I'll try to keep it short. Three American journalists go to Poland to find out what happened to a missing backpacker whom the audience already knows has met with a sad end. Before they know it, they've repeated his mistakes, and those who took care of the backpacker are ready to make sure the journalists pay the full price for their trespasses.

What separates this movie from scores of others which begin in similar ways are the little touches the filmmakers add. One of the most effective is that when the journalists arrive in the backwater village in Poland, most of the residents speak only Polish, rather than resorting to the silly idea that English is so universal that everyone must know it. Of those who do speak it, there are plausible enough reasons why, and I respect the director for granting the audience a measure of intelligence to be able to follow along without holding our hand the entire way and subtitling the foreign language dialog. Another is the extreme creepiness of the encounter with 'the shrine' itself. I found it very unnerving.

Combine the deft plotting with competent acting, as well as the other small touches, and the deficencies in the film seem minor or invisible. Keep your expectations reasonable and chances are you will find this a nice turn from your average horror film.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Independent, low-budget, and creepy as hell Nov. 18 2012
By Scary Jerry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The Shrine is an odd film. It starts with a Hostel-esque premise, and then the stupid kids walk into a fog bank suspended in the middle of a forest. Everything changes. The film turns a corner and leads you down a path than only keeps getting weirder and creepier until the final reveal. Wow! This is what inspired horror movie making is all about, and a rare gem that mostly succeeds where all the mainstream horror movies fail.

To be fair, the production standards where not altogether top notch (too much green screen work), but it's obvious that majority of the budget was spent on the special effects. The cast was also uneven (Cindy Sampson could not carry the picture even with all of Aaron Ashmore's help). Also, the director lingers too long on certain shots, and fails to pick up the pace when the story races out from under him.

Nonetheless, this is still highly recommended for those who like supernatural horror. (Finally available to own on DVD, although you can stream it on Netflix.)
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE,TOOK ME BY SURPRISE WELL DONE & SPOOKY!!! July 14 2012
By Benjamin Kidman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
this reminded me of old time horror flicks. The fact that much of the film wasn't in English actually added to the spook factor for me. It made the ending that much more interesting when you realize how much you've misjudged the people in this film. Liked it a lot.
A surprising gem from IFC. Here comes along an independent film that I've never heard of, I take a little risk and rent it, and then...WOW. Creepy, smart, great twist at the end that really caught me by surprise.This film is a MUST for any fan of the Horror / Supernatural genre.

P.S
I bought it on DVD because real liked it ..just wish they release it on blu-ray & widscreen format,This movie is great! i dont understand why people are talking about how they are speaking polish and there is no subtitles... Obviously it is for a reason they dont want you to know what the ending is going to be... i highly reccommend this movie!!!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Ideas Spoil The Borsht April 10 2012
By William Amazzini - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Director Jon Knautz's 'THE SHRINE' has a great premise in its first thirty minutes and then becomes bogged down by too many ideas thrown up at the audience. Trying to find a lost colleague, a trio of friends trace his vanishing to a remote village in a superstitious Polish countryside and become embroiled in town rituals and sacrifices all blown out the window by the films surprise denouement. The acting is first rate, the photography is a hommage to the great gothic sixties Euro-horrors of Mario Bava , but is ultimately let down by its off the wall climax which I won't spoil for first time viewers who might like this sort of thing. Director Knautz, however, shows great promise in becoming a first rate Horror director by utilizing his material to the hilt incorporating electrifying shocks and quick cuts to his set pieces. All in all, not a bad way to spend a spooky midnight viewing with friends.
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