It’s no secret: I’m a horror movie nut. I love a well-shot, well-plotted, well-developed flick. I don’t mind gore, as long as it’s integral to the story. I can even stand poorly written dialogue if the concept is compelling enough. This month, I’m profiling a film a day you may have never heard of. Happy Halloween!
The Shrine (2010): Carmen, a young journalist, feels as if she’s stumbled on the story of a lifetime. She defies her boss’ orders and books a trip to Poland to investigate the disappearance of a local backpacker who was last seen in a remote region of the country. With an intern and a photographer boyfriend in tow, they head to the village where he was last seen. During the course of their investigation, they stumble upon some evasive/aggressive locals who seem to be stuck firmly in the 1800s, then come across a mysterious mist…and what lies in that mist will change their lives forever. Dun, dun, duuhhhhnnnn!
Look forward to:
- mysterious villagers with a dark secret
- creepy statues
- a little girl who has seen too much
- a religious sect with a vested interest in human sacrifice
What I appreciated about the piece: The M. Night Shyamalan-esque twist near the end turns the action on it’s head. I didn’t see it coming, which given how many horror movies I’ve seen, is really something.
What didn’t work:
- There are some continuity issues (bags are put down and forgotten; one character is a photographer who takes surprisingly few pictures…and his camera is in one of those bags that gets abandoned…along with, I’m presuming, his ID and passport…which is always encouraged in a foreign country???).
- Also, how much English do these villagers speak? Seems to be a random decision as to when they speak Polish and when they miraculously speak English.
- Costumes were also inconsistent. Sometimes the Polish characters look like extras in a period village, sometimes they look like they stumbled out of a country music concert. Took me out of the action a bit.