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The Shrine [UK Release] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (24Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Certification: 18
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Run time: 81 Mins.
  • Studio: Arrow Films
  • Blu-ray Release Date: February 27, 2012
  • RRP: £14.99

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B0072HTWNK[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

A reasonably creepy horror/thriller from writer/director Jon Knautz, The Shrine may not be wholly original and it may also have its faults, but it ultimately conveys a satisfying sense of fear and dread that makes for good, in-the-dark watching for horror fans.

Another of numerous horror stories that finds a group of mindless friends in an out-of-the-way town being terrorized, The Shrine sets up its story through the driven, singleminded reporter Carmen (Cindy Sampson; TV’s Supernatural) who is determined to advance her career and risk the relationship with her boyfriend at the same time by investigating a missing person case in Poland that her boss wants her to leave alone. Inveigling her assistant Sara (Meghan Heffern) and convincing her photographer boyfriend to come along as a means to save their relationship, the not-so-intelligent trio heads to a small town in Poland where they find a cold greeting by the townsfolk, a mysterious fog on the outskirts of the town, and a strange statue in the amorphous cloud that will eventually play a part in their soon to be tortuous circumstances.

The atmosphere of The Shrine is successfully scary and intensely suspenseful while violence is more a means to an end than the sole focus of the film, as so many other horror films are today. Unfortunately, the weakest and most disheartening aspect of The Shrine is the decidedly anti-feminine feel of the entire screenplay by Knautz, which really comes into focus during the latter third of the film. To say that The Shrine evokes historical events like witch trials or more contemporary events that can be seen as a parallel to many would be an understatement.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The overall image for The Shrine on Blu-ray from Arrow is strong and filmic, even if graininess is sometimes a little bit harsh. The contrast is good, but the image can tend to flatten a bit with flesh tones and the overall palette looking just a little unnatural. In spite of being labeled on the package as having a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, as you can see from these screen captures, The Shrine comes with a 1.78:1 framed AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

We get a decently moody, atmospheric and beefy DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack with The Shrine. Dynamics are reasonably wide, low frequencies get the floorboards rattling, in a manner of speaking, and highs are airy. Dialogue is full and clean as well.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0/5]

There are no supplements provided on this release.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

The Shrine is a flawed and bumpy horror film that manages to smooth out its rough edges to make a reasonably acceptable, scary and suspenseful, even if derivative film. If only this didn’t feel like it were putting forth an underlying misogynistic theme, it might have come across even better than it actually is. I say rent this one first before committing to it. Also worth noting is that I tested this UK release from Arrow Films across all regions on my region-free Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player and it played back without issue, despite the “Region B” symbol emblazoned on the package.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B0072HTWNK[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0/5]

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