31 Days of Halloween | Horror Movie Spotlight | The Shrine

image via IMDB

image via IMDB

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. The-Shrine-1