Movie Review: ‘Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight’

Director: Bartosz M. Kowalski

Cast: Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz, Michal Lupa, Wiktoria Gasiewska, Stanislaw Cywka, Sebastian Dela

Plot: A group of teens arrive at a woodland campground to treat technology addiction. Whilst on an overnight hike, some of the group run afoul of some mutant murderers.

Review: This delightful number from Poland lands on Netflix just in time for Halloween, and is just the kind of thing we were in the mood for. Sometimes we want a new angle on horror, something taking a new approach and creating a new mythology, and sometimes we just want creative splatter. With 2020 being what it is, a good bit of splatter is what we want for Halloween.

Although the movie opens on a sprawling campground with dozens of characters, we get a section of the characters isolated out and the initial setting gets left in the dust. Our cache of victims are the standard genre grouping of jock, nerd, bimbo, nice guy and final girl. There’s little to make them memorable, with the nerd giving some cringeworthy dialogue that sounds like it was written by Ernest Cline. There’s very little remarkable about any of them, but the performances are certainly earnest.

Hunting our stereotypes are a pair of backwoods hillbillies suffering from some serious skin problems. Initially they look like the same deformed cannibals we’ve seen in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes and Wrong Turn, but with a sci-fi twist. Some goopy meteorite has corrupted these lads and turned them into monsters, with some childhood flashbacks adding a dab of sympathy to the story. Just a dab, mind you.

So we’ve got a cliche of a cliche for the set-up and characters, is there anything of value here? Well, there’s some solid death scenes that rely as much on editing and framing as they do gore, which is nice. There’s a couple of sequences where they use cross cutting to set up an encounter, only to flip the script and reveal an unexpected twist waiting on the other side of the door. There’s also an interrupted moment of revelation for one character that took us by surprise.

Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight isn’t going to set the world on fire, but if you’re a fan of slashers and need something to scratch that itch, you can do a lot worse. Doesn’t help that the killers look like rubber.

Rating: SIX out of TEN