Julien Neaves, Editor
Plot: Two young cops battle a deformed killer with supernatural strength in the woods.
Review: I recall watching Polish supernatural horror Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight last year and enjoying the gory homage to 80s slasher flicks. So when I saw the sequel dropped on Netflix I was fully prepared for more simple bloody shenanigans. But Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Part 2 takes the franchise in a different direction which may turn off fans of the original. With a deformed SPOILER ALERT let’s dive into it.
In the previous film a mysterious black meteor transforms twin boys into grotesque, obese killers. Years later a group of teen campers come across these mute monsters and only one woman, Zosia (Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz), survives their massacre. At the start of the sequel we see the killers imprisoned along with Zosia who the police suspect is involved in the killings. Now the reasonable viewer would expect the gruesome twosome to escape prison and continue their brutal killing spree. But returning director/co-writer Bartosz M. Kowalski had other plans in mind.
Instead the police chief carries Zosia to the scene of the crime where she becomes infected by the above-mentioned meteor and turns into a bloodthirsty monster that resembles a mix between Freddy Krueger and a Wrong Turn cannibal. It is then up to wimpy, daydreaming cop Adam (Mateusz Wieclawek) and his unrequited love interest and more experienced colleague Wanessa (Zofia Wichlacz) to take down the new killer. At this point I was still on board. I was hoping the twins would have returned as the antagonists but I was willing to give monster-Zosia a chance. But then monster-Zosia turns Adam into a monster and the whole films switches focus to a weird, meta dark comedy horror romance told from the perspective of the killers. And I was like, “What the hell is going on?”
Now far be it from me to tell the creators they shouldn’t take their new slasher franchise in a fresh direction. But the change is so jarring and inconsistent it might as well have been a separate movie. Firstly, the twins have been reduced to a mere plot point and barely do anything of significance. Secondly, monster-Zosia and monster-Adam are much more intelligent than the original killers and converse in an alien language. It is not explained why they have a higher level of sentience but it may be that they were exposed as adults while the twins were exposed as children. But this is never spelt out and the change makes the way they operate very different.
The film then goes into a contemplation of the nature of evil and a “how to kill” tutorial which reminded a bit of Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, though less effective. And then you have the disgusting romance between the two killers, culminating in one repellant sex scene. I guess it’s supposed to be funny but I just didn’t get the joke.
I must admit there were some laughs to be had and like the original the film delivers on the heaps of gore and blood; so if you are a gore hound you should feel satisfied. But I wish they just stuck to the traditional slasher formula and saved all the meta comedy stuff for its own franchise. And with the ending screaming another sequel we’ll see if the meta madness continues or if they return to the more traditional roots.
Editor Jules’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.