Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight is a Polish horror film with a modern setting. Teens addicted to the screen are sent by their parents to detox in the woods in a kind of rehab camp. Julek (Michal Lupa) is a gamer whose parents don’t seem to appreciate the competition or the money making potential, Aniela (Wiktoria Gasiewska) is selfie-obsessed, and the others are also there so presumably over-consuming some kind of tech, including jock Daniel (Sebastian Dela), homophobic homosexual Bartek (Stanislaw Cywka), and our main protagonist, loner Zosia (Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz), though their particulars are apparently unimportant. Suffice to say: they’re addicted, and they’re being marched more or less against their will into the woods by Iza (Gabriela Muskala), a woman who probably wears camo in her off-time too. And this is precisely where the modern stops and this horror becomes a throwback to creature features of yore.
Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight isn’t content with your standard slasher bad guy; they’ve got something truly grotesque tromping through their forest and director Bartosz M. Kowalski capitalizes on the gruesome mystique.
Though Zosia is haunted by her past almost as much as by the monster, it’s Julek who is our true hero, even if he cuts an unlikely figure. He, at least, is bright enough to play by the horror rules, even stating them for everyone’s benefit, especially ours, we the audience who are yelling at least as loud as he is about not splitting up. Not under any circumstances.
This is by no means a classic among the genre, it’s not even a particular stand-out. But if you’re a fan of vintage slasher flicks, you’ll find this full of gore and guts, with an entertaining sprinkling of meta in-jokes. It’s a little familiar in places, a little surprising in others, and altogether not a terrible scary movie. It’s not rich in backstory or concerned with an overarching message, it’s just brutal and bloody and unforgiving.