Jack's Review of The Shrine
And then Darth Vader appeared in the nick of time to kill Voldermort so all of Middle Earth would be saved from Stephanie Meyer.
That's essentially the feeling here. The wrong people for the wrong reasons are doing the wrong things except that it's the right thing. If I were to add spoilers this wouldn't be all that confusing but that doesn't change the fact that protagonists and antagonists swap roles far too often for your brain to process and the result is instant apathy in the story.
Still, it is more good than bad. The first 30 minutes is well-done, perhaps even overdone and a little crispy. The premise is far from ground-breaking which gave the director a chance to focus on making the first few obligatory jump-scares really effective for the short time they can be fun only to throw them out like the overrated cinematic technique it is.
The production value never seemed to suffer from a low budget other than the make-up department which, when faced with the task of creating roughly a dozen fiendish monsters, resorted to rubber masks which I couldn't help but feeling bore a greater resemblance to marine life. Also, Batman Begins being the last movie I watched before starting this one didn't help them get their point across either as the monsters looked very similar to some of those created by the Scarecrow's gas.
Beyond Batman, (see what I did there?) familiar images abound in this film in a very plagiaristic way. See the cover on the page? Notice how it vaguely looks like the girl from the Exorcist could be under that mask? Well, that's basically who it is, right down to the green skin. The costume design and set-pieces should also feel very familiar to gamers, I'll delve into that soon.
The movie takes place in a small village in Poland and I hope you speak it as there's no subtitles. Anywhere. Ever. At first this works with the movie's suspense but mid-climax it just means we're taking the music's word that something serious is happening. They could just be talking about each other's cats and most of us would never know the difference until somebody kills somebody else. What's worse is that after the climax this continues, even with a character that only speaks English in the room.
Going against the grain for once, there is a cult whose involvement in the story is one of its more interesting aspects. However, if you've ever played Resident Evil 4 I don't need to describe them very much visually. They're almost identical to the guys in the purple robes and the buildings all look like they were copied directly after locations in the game to such an extent I found myself spotting the windows with nearby bookshelves to shove in front of them. If you haven't played the game then you're life isn't really worth living anyways and the rest of us shouldn't be asked to accomodate.
I feel it worth mentioning that amongst the three main characters, the "let's get out of here" character was the only male of the group, while the "I'm going to get my story" journalist kept overriding his pleads. Whether as guardian or just plain stupid, he went along with her clear up to the rising action. Make of that what you will.