Plucky reporter and horrible girlfriend Carmen drags her friends off to Poland in search of a disappeared young American. The quest takes them to a small village, where as in all small villages the locals are creepy and something ain't right. There's some mysterious fog at the edge of town you're not supposed to go into, so guess what they make a bee-line for.

hey cool
I approve the Polish method of killing young foreigners
but YUCK
Brand X pulp fiction

Just once could the characters not irritate me in a movie made during this century? Maybe I shouldn't even be complaining here since I've seen so horribly much worse, but four minutes in and already TV drama girl is squabbling with her standard issue scraggly-beard boyfriend about their relationship and her career. It's one of these actresses who's so perfectly tanned, sculpted and wardrobed that it looks like some sort of slick CG effect when she's in the same scene with regular people. I guess I'm even bitching when the girl is too pretty now - perhaps I should ask myself if I'd really want movie people to look like the creatures I've seen at the grocery store.

Anyway now that I've made fun of both beautiful and ugly people I guess you could watch this. It's not absolutely horrible and fake Poland is a pretty good place for a horror movie. It's all so generic and pretend though that I don't think I'd notice if the film crew were standing in the shot. Like if a Sci-Fi Channel movie were twice as good it would be this. I'm out of things to say about to movie now so I'm just going to reproduce it here like normal sarcastic mean-spirited reviewers do.

From ominous events in Eastern Europe we cut to a girl in the shower so we can be thrilled by a split second of side boob, and all I can say is man if you're getting your boob from this movie then you're probably selling yourself short on what today's internet can offer. It's a reporter chick who's all pissed off about her job; her editor only gives her fluff human interest stories 'cause she's, y'know, a girl and she's got spunk, and he hates spunk. She wants to do the good stuff like the murders and kidnappings, and she's got a lead on this kid who went missing in Poland.

So she grabs her hideously un-tanned intern and tricks her boyfriend the photographer into coming along and they're off to "Alvania", which is some part of Canada that might resemble Poland for all I know. There they accost a young girl who speaks only a leetle English, and yet understands words like "journalist", but before they can pump her for information the townsfolk arrive with knives and pitchforks and indicate that they don't really like foreigners messing with their kids.

At this point they spot the mystery mist, and not even the boyfriend's repeated entreaties to get the fuck outta there will stop the girls sneaking through the woods to investigate. They come to an unnatural wall of fog that the boyfriend thinks they should get the fuck away from, but the intern rushes in 'cause she's such a "naive kid" who's at least a month younger than the others. Tan girl goes in after her and comes upon a devil statue that to me vaguely resembles a caricature of actor Sam Neil. Its head turns to look at her and starts drooling blood. Statues can't do that, so she freaks out and runs back to her boyfriend who thinks it's high time they got the fuck outta there.

On their way out they see the little girl again. Boyfriend says they should leave her the fuck alone. They don't, and in broken English the girl informs them that she is in possession of certain information regarding the disappearance of the aforementioned missing individual, and that all will be revealed if they but accompany her into a creepy cellar.

Thus captured by the locals, the girls are stripped and given sacrificial gowns while the boyfriend is marched off to dig their graves. Oooh here's the good part - the intern is strapped to a table and has her tendons cut, and a spiked mask is sledge hammered into her face like in that great scene from Black Sunday. But sadly they jump cut away from the actual hammer crush, proving that this thing can't even beat up a 50 year old movie.

Fortunately for our heroes (well not so much for the intern) the bad guys are typically incompetent in the matter of holding doomed victims at gunpoint, so the guy watching the guy is promptly incapacitated and it's boyfriend to the rescue.

He easily shoves aside all the cultists, who fight like cultists everywhere, and locks them in the cellar and tells the girl they both really need to get the fuck outta there. They require a vehicle so he invades the home of a young couple and their child, ties them up, and threatens to kill the mother if they don't give him the keys to their truck. I know, wow.

Shit all hits the fan. Turns out if you see the statue you become possessed by the devil after a little while, so the reporter chick, who it must be said was a pretty awful girlfriend to begin with, now sprouts facial prosthetics and gets all hissy and Linda Blair. A priest arrives and there's a big showdown with crosses and holy water. Devil girl kills the tied up family and a few other random locals before being tackled to the ground, but they're having difficulty keeping her head still for the mask pounding that must take place to destroy the evil. Boyfriend sees what's going on and with what must have been at least a little satisfaction at this point he grabs her head so they can correctly apply the mask. That's all it takes really; the tendon cutting of the other girl was just for the sport of it.

So all's well that ends well. The boyfriend is allowed to leave unharmed, since the witnesses to his earlier behaviour are conveniently dead.

So there ye go, you've just seen The Shrine. I was trying to avoid dumb Polish jokes here but that statue has apparently been there for centuries, so how many Polacks does it take to put up a fence and a "Beware of Devil" sign or something? Guess they wouldn't get to destroy as many foreigners' heads with a sledge hammer for their own good though. Does look
pretty fun.