Carmen (Cindy Sampson) is a struggling journalist, trying to redeem herself in the eyes of her employer. She is also having a hard time of things with her photographer boyfriend Marcus (Aaron Ashmore). She asks her boss, Dale (Philip Craig) if she is allowed to investigate the disappearance of an American tourist in Alvania, Poland. Naturally, he tells her to shut it and concentrate on real issues.
Carmen does some more digging into the story of missing tourist Eric Taylor (Ben Lewis). The village he disappeared at seems to have some suspect activity. More tourists have gone missing in the Eastern European area, all near the same motel, all their luggage turning up unclaimed at airports. Carmen gets her intern Sara (Meghan Heffern) involved, and together they visit Ben’s mother. Leaving with Ben’s journal, they decide that there is a story, and convince Marcus to go to Alvania with them, not telling him that they have no permission.
Arriving in Poland, they find that the locals are very hostile, and that there is a mist/smoke hanging above the forest, not moving, not swirling, nothing. They also notice that the locals treat the clergy like they are gods, and are very subservient to them. Approaching the woods, some local men become extremely agitated, with their leader Henryk (Trevor Matthews) banishing them from the town. Now Carmen really wants to know what they are hiding, and mission into the forests. They encounter the mist, that is as thick and impenetrable as a wall, and Sara wanders off into it. Carmen follows her and comes across a creepy gargoyle type of statue in the forest. Something changes in Carmen, though she has no idea what.
Regrouping, they need to hurry up and leave. They run into a young girl named Lidia (Julia Debowska), and she takes them to where Eric is theoretically being held. At the scene, they make a gruesome discovery, and it is decided that they need to escape. The locals are hunting them now, they should have gotten out when they had the chance. Are they going to find out first hand what the missing tourists endured? Are they going to suffer at the hands of some inexplicable and previously unheard of cult?
A 4/10 for The Shrine. It just didn’t work. It took forever to go anywhere, and then even it was still not as great as I would have hoped. The lack of subtitles drove me insane (and yes, I know they were not supposed to be there, but still, I wanted them). It didn’t incite fear in me, only irritation. I felt that the story was weak, too, seeing as it kept floundering to find its rightful place, which should have actually been from the off but it was not. It ended better than what you would expect while watching, although it is abrupt. It was sad that a whole movie was wasted for a decent conclusion when it is usually the other way around. The concept for the movie has been seen before, and this is really no different, and it was not done very well, either. I truly expected a bit more from Aaron Ashmore, and even Cindy Sampson after Supernatural, but no… I was not as impressed with this film as I was hoping to be, and cannot see myself checking it out again. Once was truly more than enough.