“Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight” Review

Story posted November 5, 2020 in Arts & Entertainment by Jillian Heilig.

This week, Netflix released a new Polish horror film “Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight,” directed by Bartosz M. Kowalski. The film follows a group of teens as they travel into the woods for an offline camping experience that takes an unexpected turn for the worst.

Two young boys who had been living in the woods for years prior found a rock that turned them into human-eating monsters. As the monsters harass the teens, they try to figure a way out.

The plot of this film was cliché and boring. Two men—built very large with “scary” warts—brutally attacked these kids throughout the movie. It was all very foreseeable, but good enough to keep watching.

The characters themselves were poorly written in and old fashioned. The main girls were opposites—one was represented as a beautiful girl, but in classic anti-feminist fashion.

The other girl was shown as a survivor, not giving any attention to anyone and suffocating in her traumatic past. The poor stereotypes of this film alone made it difficult to watch.

Overall, the cinematography was well done. The setting—a large forest—was eerie and overwhelming. The predictable plot and typical horror film setting made it clear from the beginning the scenes would be foreseeable.
The romantic scene by the lake was particularly close to the horror-movie cliché. The camp beauty gets with the jock the first night, although he isn’t as savvy as you may have thought!

The basic characters made it easy to figure out who would survive the longest. Of course, it had to be the strong, traumatized young female who would fight to the very end!

The predictable energy of the whole film made it feel unbearably long. Every moment where there could have been a surprise, I was again disappointed by the unoriginality of the film.

The violence of the film was wince-worthy and nauseating. The special effects left you with goosebumps.

One particularly impressive element was the twin brothers themselves: to make them scary, the special effects artist used warts and blisters; an interesting twist from the usual horror movie villain. Throwing away the classic horror movie villains (the mask-wearing killers, the paranormal creatures, and the dolls who come to life) the movie portrays its villains as monsters—which is a difficult feature to pull off.

This movie may have been painfully unoriginal and cliché, but there is something society should at least appreciate; the fact that Kowalski and his team created a film in such a terrible time for entertainment. The film was predictable; with expected plot line and dialogue but was also shot beautifully, with an amazing reel of cinematography.
While definitely not a re-watch, it is impressive at how much the crew accomplished in this particular year. With better times in the entertainment industry, I trust this crew could accomplish something great—this just wasn’t necessarily it.

Rate: 2/5

Jillian Heilig is a freshman majoring in Film/Video. To contact her, email jrh6390@psu.edu.

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