The Shrine

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 6


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,325
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The Shrine Photos

Movie Info

After a young American backpacker goes missing in Europe, a group of journalists link his disappearance to a remote village in Poland. They travel there hoping to get the story, but as they unravel the secrets behind this mysterious village, they are suddenly pursued by hostile locals. Unable to escape, they soon become the next victims of ritualistic human sacrifice. Forced into the gruesome reality of true survival horror, the journalists will discover that this village hides a much darker secret than they could ever imagine. -- (C) IFC Films

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Aaron Ashmore
as Marcus Bremmick
Cindy Sampson
as Carmen Burke
Meghan Heffern
as Sara Tattersall
Laura De Carteret
as Laura Taylor
Benjamin Lewis
as Eric Taylor
David Tompa
as Henchman #1
Alexander Krstitch
as Henchman #2
Neil Davison
as Henchman #3
Wojtek Skrzeta
as Henchman #4
Paulino Nunes
as Henchman #5
Rod Price
as Henchman #6
Danijel Mandic
as Henchman #7
Wally Michaels
as Purple Cloaked Man #1
Jasmin Geljo
as Purple Cloaked Man #2
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Critic Reviews for The Shrine

All Critics (6)

  • Effectively creates tension to complement an overall creepiness, to deliver a climax that keeps the viewer in the dark.

    Feb 28, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The Shrine is horror just going through the motions - dull and perfunctory, with nowhere near enough polish to match its broken Polish.

    Mar 6, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Even with its familiar trappings and some occasional bumps in the road, The Shrine is an enjoyable little throwback.

    Sep 5, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The Shrine is an incredibly tense and entertaining cinematic experience that should keep horror fans guessing until the very end and further proves that Knautz is a filmmaking force to be reckoned with.

    Aug 10, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The Shrine builds and builds and builds, until it finally shows just what it is made of.

    Oct 20, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Shrine

  • Oct 27, 2015
    Not a half bad movie all things considered. It certainly starts out slowly enough, much like a lot of horror movies, but it honestly progresses at a nice pace. It gives you bits and pieces of information without really revealing anything. So, at the very least, you'ref invested in seeing what exactly is going on here and why the village is so unfriendly to outsiders who venture far too deeply into the woods. Perhaps the film doesn't really have enough material to go 80-some odd minutes, but I think they do about as good a job as they possibly can with the material they were given. But the film, to me, is never bad at any point. It's just about building to the climax and getting to the climax isn't what I would call laborious, it just takes a little more effort to stay with the film until that point. I mean I wanted to see how it played out but there were parts were I could've just stopped the film and it wouldn't have bothered me none. Though I definitely do think that the climax itself is, easily, by a country mile, the best part of the entire movie. There's some solid gore and it builds really well. It's not that the third act of the film itself will set any new standards for excellency in horror, it clearly didn't judging by the score I gave it, but it was pretty fun in all honestly. I just wish that the rest of the film had matched the third act in intensity and just fun horror elements. The film, obviously, doesn't have great cinematography or great acting, that holds it back a bit. The familiarity of the story itself might be an issue, but that never really bothered me as much as some of the pacing issues. Honestly, not the best horror film you will ever see, but the third act is pretty entertaining and it makes this movie, while still below average, one of the better below average horror movies you will ever see. Not exactly recommended, but still a fine diversion that won't piss you off too much.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jun 14, 2013
    We see it over and over again with Horror, a film with a decent storyline, starts out great, and quickly descends into a pointless mess of blood and guts. The Shrine was a film I really wanted to like. I was intrigued by the Netflix description, and had they stuck with that story, maybe this one would have been a winner, unfortunately they didn't. The Shrine starts out by telling us of a student backpacking through Europe, who goes missing in the small town of Alvania, Poland. Some reporters from his hometown get a whiff of the story and start poking around, only to find out that no one in the town is particularly interested in trying to find this kid, that's when the reports decide the only thing they can do is go there and look for him themselves. With films like Saw and The Offspring, the gore was absolutely necessary and added to the story, in The Shrine, it takes away from what was already a pretty good story. The small town was creepy and the story really played to peoples fear of disappearing without a trace, while on vacation. The film may have been a little bit slow moving, but it was very intense and interesting until the last forty-five minutes. That's when it goes demonic and becomes nothing but one bloody body after another. For me, films like the Shrine are the most disappointing of all, because the writers didn't believe in their story and ultimately destroy it in order to get more viewers. The demonic slaughterhouse may have appealed to a larger audience, but it certainly didn't make this a better film.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 03, 2012
    I am sick and tired of badly made horror films lately. This used to be one of my favorite genres, but good horror flicks are far and few between anymore. This one isn't half bad, though. It is an Independent film, which is a plus for me. It isn't, however, for those looking for a complete bloodfest. This movie has more eerie, creepy vibes about it, until the end. Then the bloodfest commences. However, this movie is set in Poland, and they chose to make most of that time in only Polish (no subtitles). Interesting decision, and made me like the film a little less....but up to that point I found this movie rather decently done...
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 23, 2012
    *1/2 out of **** Jon Knautz has finally followed up "Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer" - unseen by me - with his sophomore effort, a horror mystery film titled "The Shrine". Knautz's previous film was admired by some and not so much by others; but it had enough supporters for the filmmaker to move on in his career. I do not know of "Jack Brooks" and its quality, as well as what it would mean to me, and I'm still debating on whether you can really tell too much from one movie by a director who has done at least one more. But as far as I know, independent filmmakers should be moving up instead of falling down in their careers these days. So if "The Shrine" is an indicator of the possible quality of "Jack Brooks", then I don't think I will ever feel the impulse to see the thing. To avoid having to investigate the disappearance of some farmer's bees, two intern journalists named Carmen (Cindy Sampson) and Sara (Meghan Heffern) decide instead to go looking for a hiker who went missing near the fictional Polish village of Alvania. Along for the ride is Carmen's photographer boyfriend Marcus (Aaron Ashmore), with whom she's having a tough time upholding a steady relationship. When they arrive in the village, they discover that it's hidden in a thick and ominous fog. Also, there's a spooky demonic sort of statue that lays smack dab in the middle of everything. The village itself is populated by people who, for a bunch of Polish dudes and dolls, speak in very unconvincing accents. But there's something more sinister going on here than bad Polish accents. The hiker was not the first tourist to go missing in these parts. The villagers are hostile and strange; they seem to practice a bizarre religion, and soon enough we get a taste of their bad habits, which includes human sacrifice via jamming a spiked mask into the face and the eyes with a sledgehammer. Clearly, just by coming there, Carmen and company have become the cult's next victims. Carmen's sacrifice is unsuccessful, and she starts seeing demon faces on everyone; even her beloved boyfriend! "The Shrine" is only 84 minutes long, and it's fucking boring for at least 60 of those. The introduction to these characters is appallingly weak and the set-up is just overly simplistic. It evokes "The Wicker Man" and isn't quite dumb enough to try and borrow from it, but alas not smart enough to take influence from it either. The film employs some sorry excuse for build-up, and therefore we're stuck with characters that we don't care about as well as an ill-conceived premise for about the first hour. But the last twenty minutes are dynamite in comparison. There's actually some general creepiness going on there - the kind that should have been present throughout the entire picture - and from then on, it's trippy and therefore kind of entertaining. But you literally can't make up for all that lost time by that point. However intriguing its third act may be, "The Shrine" is still lazy and bland. There's some decent gore and obviously quite a bit of heart (and not a lot of brains) was put into this little film, but nothing comes out the other end. For a low-budget production, it's visually competent but only ever shines during those moments that I've already praised. I'm starting to think that the last twenty minutes were the only minutes that Knautz and his pals actually gave a shit about. The film doesn't care for those who want a movie that is smart or innovative. Take my advice and go rent an occult horror film that respects a more intellectually thirsty audience instead.
    Ryan M Super Reviewer

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