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Film / The Shrine

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The Shrine is a Canadian horror film released in 2010. Young journalist Carmen, along with her photographer ex-boyfriend Marcus and her intern Sara, travel to an isolated village in Poland, looking to report on the disappearance of several tourists in the region. But there's more awaiting them there than they expected...

This film contains examples of:

  • Bilingual Bonus: A lot of the dialogue is in Polish, with hilariously mangled accents and liberal amounts of Large Ham.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The mystery of the vanished tourists is solved, but Carmen and Sara are dead, and Marcus was forced to let the priests kill the former to vanquish the demon.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Sara is seen still twitching and thrashing once the mask has been hammered down onto them, implying the spikes aren't quite long enough to inflict instant death. Or that the demon possessing her body takes a bit longer to die.
  • Death of a Child: In brutal fashion—the demonic Carmen tears his guts out along with his parents.
  • Demonic Possession: The tourists - and later Carmen and Sara - were possessed by a bloodthirsty demon, which is why the villagers killed them.
  • Devil, but No God: The demon in Carmen's body makes a variant of this claim.
    Demon Carmen: I have tasted the blood and flesh of fallen angels. Your heaven is a betrayal. There is no redemption.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The shadow of the mask being drawn up over the table on which the victim lays eerily evokes the image of a giant roach or other insect crawling up the length of their body, which is quite likely to be a symbol of the growing demonic possession the priests charged with killing them are trying to avert.
  • Fog of Doom: A silent, opaque fog hovers over a section of the forest, completely motionaless against an invisible boundary. Inside this fog is the titular shrine to a demon. The question is, is the fog the work of the demon to trap unlucky travelers, or is it a precaution by the priests meant to deter people from finding the shrine?
  • Eye Scream: The method of killing enacted by the priests involves hammering a mask with spikes pointing into the eyes down onto the face of a victim. The Demonic Possession seems to occur after seeing a specific statue, which then bleeds from the eyes and causes accelerating hallucinations in the victim. The eye spikes seem designed to destroy the center of the indwelling.
  • Genre Savvy: Marcus appears to be reasonably knowledgable that he's in a possession movie, and immediately deduces that Carmen is still possessed after she appears human again, so he finishes her off.
  • Good All Along: The town priests.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Deconstructed. Carmen's determination to land an eyecatching story leads her into a complete mess that ends with five people, herself included, dead.
  • Nightmare Face: The Demonic Possession apparently causes its victims to hallucinate these on other people.
  • Only Sane Man: Marcus repeatedly points out that the whole journey is a bad idea, and repeatedly advises them to turn back. He refuses to follow Carmen and Sara into the fog, realizing that something was really off about it. Needless to say, he's the only one who survives the movie.
  • Sinister Minister: The town priests, though they turn out to be the good guys.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Applies to Carmen mostly. Yes, let's go to a remote village to investigate a missing persons case and not tell anyone. Let's also not listen to repeated warnings to turn back and leave. Hey, we should also probably follow that creepy child to a crypt full of coffins.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The secret being that they're trying to keep an ancient evil contained, not serve it as one might initially think.
  • The Unreveal: How did the demon come to be imprisoned in the statue? Why is the ceremonial headpiece needed as the specific method of killing its hosts? We may never know. Although the new head priest implies that it was some kind of curse inflicted on their lands long ago, and that they can't save its victims any other way than by killing them.