Netflix scored a surprise hit last year with the Polish summer camp slaughter film Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight. So it’s no surprise that Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight 2 has arrived just in time for Halloween. What is surprising is the direction the sequel’s story takes.
Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight 2 opens with a cop named Adas (Mateusz Wieclawek, All My Friends Are Dead) going all Terminator on a bunch of vampires, Or at least dreaming about it. He’s the station’s errand boy, not the Polish Harry Callahan. When he gets to the station he finds the first film’s sole survivor Zosia (Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz) in a cell. That film’s two killers who we thought were also dead are in the cell next door.
His boss Sergeant Waldek (Andrzej Grabowski, The Plagues of Breslau) takes Zosia back to the cabin to go through the events of her story. Instead, she begins to mutate and kills him. When they don’t return Adas and another officer, Wanessa (Zofia Wichlacz) head to the cabin to find out what’s going on.
The first half of Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight 2 plays like a typical sequel as the cops investigate the first film’s killings and find themselves in way over their heads. Since it’s also a comedy that means when Wanessa calls in the “Territorial Defense Force” they turn out to be a pair of out-of-shape brothers who are more dangerous to themselves than anyone else. If you find somebody cutting their own hands off in a bear trap funny, you’ll love these two.
Unfortunately, there’s little of the first film’s energy on display here and the film just sort of plods along from one supposedly funny scene to the next. Director Bartosz M. Kowalski and co-writer Mirella Zaradkiewicz seem to have lost the inspiration that made the first film an enjoyable hommage and seem to be going through the motions here.
The one thing that does work is the gore, heads explode, bodies are ripped in half, limbs are cut off, etc. It’s all very well done and mostly all practical effects, apart from a couple of shotgun to the head effects at the start. And for CGI they’re not bad.
The second half of Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight 2 however goes off in a direction I didn’t see coming and somewhat redeems the film. As much as I don’t want to spoil it I have to give at least a little away here. So take this as a SPOILER WARNING.
Zosia, now fully transformed by the meteorite infects Adas and Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight 2 becomes an alien monster rom-com complete with one of the more bizarre sex scenes you’re likely to see in a mainstream movie. And there’s discussion of the nature of humanity as a species as well as faces being ripped off.
It’s a lot weirder and more inspired than the first part of the film, but it’s certainly not going to be to everyone’s taste, especially if you tuned in just wanting a standard sequel. Maybe it was because I found Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight 2 such a disappointment up to then, but I was more than happy with the twist. And with the hint of a third film, as long as it has a better first act than this one.
Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight 2 is currently streaming on Netflix. It’s available in your choice of subtitled or dubbed versions in several languages. I found the English subtitles a bit off at points, but still better than the dubbing.