Well just got to see The Shrine on Blu Ray and i have to say i was pretty impressed!
I have been hearing a good few things about this through the horror community and was glad to see it was to be released in the UK by Arrow Films and was fortunate enough to see the Blu Ray release.
OK onto the film, Starts off with a shocking scene of some guy basically strapped to a table and having a wooden mask smashed on to his face by some people all cloaked as in secret monks speaking in a foreign tongue, creepy.
It then switches to the USA where we see a reporter Carmen (Cindy Sampson) and her boyfriend Marcus (Aaron Ashmore) have a little argument about how she is always too involved in her work and never has time to just forget work and chill out, she is an upcoming reporter that is just looking for her first big break story when she See's a report of an American backpacker than has gone missing whilst on his travels around Europe. so there you have the guy in the mask and the foreign fellows, she tracks down his mum and pays her a visit along with her sidekick trainee reporter Sara(Meghan Heffern) the mother proceeds to explain that although he has indeed disappeared all of his luggage has been returned home, so Carmen asks the mum if she doesn't mind her taking a look through his returned luggage to which she agrees, Carmen then comes across his travel Journal with the last entire being in a remote village in Poland describing a mysterious fog.She has her story.
On return to her office her boss gives her a job to report on how Bees keep dying in certain states, not the best job and certainly one she has no intention of following up, so she throws it in the bin then along with Sara and her quite easily persuaded boyfriend decide to travel to the remote village.
Upon arrival they all get looked upon very mysteriously by the towns folk, this particular scene reminded of the great Capcom game Resident Evil 4, a very similar kind of feel to the village, with hooded monks, a church and locals with pitchforks,needless to say they see the mysterious mist in the distance rising up from the dense forest and decide to go investigate only to be chased a way be locals one just done from slaughtering a pig.
But as Carmen points out they have come a hell of a long way and won't give up easily, so guess what? Yep they make it into the forest and find the edge of the mysterious mist,whilst Carmen and her boyfriend are talking Sara just wonders into the mist and doesn't return so Sarah decides to go looking, whilst wondering she comes across a strange looking statue that is very similar Pazuzu as seen in The Exorcist, this is really a great creepy scene with a ton of atmosphere, slightly freaked out she walks around the statue and turns around only to see the statues head has rotated and is now staring at her with a stone beating heart in it's fist, get out the woods!!
At this point i won't say anymore as it would probably spoil it and in my opinion it is well worth a watch, it's not ashamed of wearing all it's influences on it's sleeve everything from the Mario Bava's Mask of Satan to The Exorcist and like i said even Resident Evil 4, oh and did i mention the twist at the end? Well all i will say is it is a very good twist indeed which serves to play out the last part of the film with a genuinely creepy and scary conclusion, looking forward to future films from Director Jon Knautz i must say.