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THE SHRINE
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Jon Knautz

Starring:
Aaron Ashmore
Cindy Sampson
Ben Lewis
Meghan Heffern

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
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.
Is it good movie?
Do you remember director Jon Knautz' first film, Jack Brooks- Monster Slayer? If you don't, you should refresh your memory and give it a watch. It's a fun and over the top throwback to gory 80s horror that ended up being a lot of fun.

With that said I'd like to say that his second film, The Shrine doesn't suck! It's shot really well, and features some great gore effects. You'll see some nasty eyeball stuff, so be on the lookout for that. It isn't painting the world red, but this movie gets the gory job done. On top of that, the characters are actually given some background and setup time.

Coming off like a real bit off more than you can chew/fish out of water tale, this one builds some great suspense, throwing our journalists for a loop as they look desperately for a lost backpacker. They can't understand anything the locals are saying, which terrifies me, to say the least.

From here, they're led into a thick fog and stuck there on their own amidst a terrifying statue of a demon known as Pazuzu which holds a human heart and bleeds. Yes folks, we've got creepy children, lost friends, bleeding statues, human sacrifices and some downright exorcist type stuff going here.

This isn't a film where you're going to be pounded by boo scares. Instead, you've got a slow building potboiler that takes its time kicking into gear and pays off when it does. There's some great performances from Aaron Ashmore and Cindy Sampson here, which is worth mentioning. Also worth noting is a badass ending that actually makes sense and doesn't disappoint, which can be a real rarity these days.

All may not be perfect as some characters do stupid 'why would you ever do that' sort of things (in fact, their entire reason for going to "Poland" is really suspect), but without those, we might not have a movie on our hands. Still though, a minor complaint.
Video / Audio
This is a screener copy with no listed specs.
The Extras
This is a screener copy with no listed extras.
Last Call
This movie came out of nowhere and surprised me. There are a few great twists and turns, the story is well written (for the most part), the film is tremendously atmospheric and well shot, has a good ending and good acting. That about sums up my checklist, yo!
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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