Nobody Sleeps

Full titleNobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight.

Vampire Owl: People should actually sleep in the woods.

Vampire Bat: Why would they do that? These days people prefer big cities.

Vampire Owl: It is easier to hunt humans that way.

Vampire Bat: I am sure that they would be taking enough preparations if they are to sleep in the woods at some point.

Vampire Owl: There is no preparation that can stop a vampire with night vision.

Vampire Bat: Well, people are not really concerned about stopping vampires either.

Vampire Owl: It is the doing of Twilight. People used to be afraid of us.

Vampire Bat: I am sure that they have many more things to be afraid of now.

Vampire Owl: Tell me that we are still in the top ten of that list.

Vampire Bat: I am afraid that I can give you no guarantee regarding the same.

[Gets a green apple cake and three glasses of oreo shake].

What is the movie about? :: A postman is seen as delivering a letter to some remote area, somewhere around a forest. As nobody answers the door bell, he goes on to look on the other side of the house, and hears some noises from the basement. He feels that there is someone there, and while trying to help, he dragged down the basement. His cries can be heard, and at the same time, there is someone washing bloody clothes inside the house. Then the scene shifts to thirty years later, as a group of youngsters arrive at an area near a forest for a camp. In the camp, mobiles are confiscated, as the organizers attempt to keep them offline, away from technology and close to nature. It is supposed to be a kind of rediscovery for the students who woul have the advanture of their life, meeting local people and even some of the creatures of the forest. Some of the youngsters do feel that it is nice to be away from Instagram because they don’t have to see some of the moronic posts which keep coming up there.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Iza (Izabela Dabrowska) is the leader of a group which goes for a three day hike in the forest. They are supposed to reveal facts about themselves and get to know about each other, a change from what they had been doing on the internet with strangers. Zosia (Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz) and Aniela (Wiktoria Gasiewska) are the only other two female members of the group. The other members are Julek (Michał Lupa) confirmed as the slowest and the least athletic among the groupm being attached to gaming, as well as Daniel (Sebastian Dela) and Bartek (Stanisław Cywka). Soon enough, they feel that something in the forest which they won’t like to face, and they had already seen a dead deer, seemingly a cruel work. Aniela and Daniel soon get to be together, but the former is soon killed while others look for him as he had disappeared all of a sudden. But is this the last of the disappearances which is to happen in the forest? What is the secret that the forest have in store?

The defence of Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight :: Bringing a group of youngsters who have spent most of their lives on the internet to a forest is pretty much a fine idea for horror films. During these times when the youngsters are more into online friendships and trying to get more views on Instagram and Youtube at any cost, this tale of them being in real life is much relevant. We do see people being unable to separate online life from the offline, but this is a warning about exploring the less explored too. The horror does feel real, as much as any film of the genre shot in a forest, and the environment does provide a real boost. There are some nice shots of the forest shown with all its beauty, and the terror that lurks beneath. It is this setting that serves the purpose, even though not that much as it would for an Evil Dead movie. The terror here does feel and the melancholy of the main character is also felt very strongly throughout the movie.

The claws of flaw :: It is natural that the characters here move on the lines of usual horror films, and the mistakes that they make are close to what is repeated. The film doesn’t take that much of an innovation into its slasher mode, as horror always had a better chance in this particular film too. So much was to be done here with the monsters in the forest and with no help coming up any time soon. When we look at the deaths in the film, they are pretty much expected, and predictability is surely there – one wouldn’t hope to go beyond that in a film with slasher mode on. You also feel that this has ended with a need to have a sequel, and a grand finish was always possible. The seemingly invincible murderers here could have been replaced with something else for a change, and the sinister presence here had the opportunity to be something of much bigger scope – yet this one takes the predictable enjoyable route quite well.

Performances of the soul :: Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz plays the character that seems to be the lead from the beginning itself. She maintains a certain amount of melancholy throughout her time, and yet the character remains a strong presence. Her character has gone through a tragedy in the past, and the same is also reflected with flashbacks throughout her journey. Wiktoria Gasiewska plays more or less the character that we usually see in horror films, and she has managed the same with more charm than such characters usually have, and maintains a more realistic stance in comparison with others. She plays that character who is surely going to get killed at some point in a horror movie, and that will be the case here too. Michał Lupa plays a strong character despite seemingly the weaker link among them all. Sebastian Dela and Stanisław Cywka play their part well as the two other usual characters of the horror genre. Gabriela Muskała also remains pretty good when she is there. The lesser characters do their part well.

How it finishes :: Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight keeps the horror genre alive, and we do need to keep the category strong. For the same, this is a welcome addition. All the horror fans would be seeing a regeneration of horror here, as well as the slasher subgenre which hasn’t had too many big movies in the recent past in comparison to what was there earlier. As of now, we need all the horror that we can take, especially when we see all the nonsense which could make it way forward in this world. We are very close to descending into chaos, and therefore horror is the only reality that we have in front of us. Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight doesn’t bring that kind of horror, but does have some effective horror to remind us that the old style scares are still alive. The Polish film does manage to rise above a good number of Hollywood films here. I remember watching Dark, Almost Night which was another Polish horror movie, and now we have this one for the genre.

Release date: 28th October 2020
Running time: 102 minutes
Directed by: Bartosz M Kowalski
Starring: Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz, Wiktoria Gasiewska, Michał Lupa, Stanisław Cywka, Gabriela Muskała, Sebastian Dela, Mirosław Zbrojewicz, Michał Zbroja, Piotr Cyrwus, Olaf Lubaszenko, Wojciech Mecwaldowski, Bartłomiej Kotschedoff, Bartłomiej Firlet, Małgorzata Szczerbowska, Izabela Dąbrowska

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Dark Almost Night

Vampire Owl: And, we are getting some dark movies.

Vampire Bat: This is only the second Polish movie that we are watching.

Vampire Owl: Yes, and it should be a really dark one, as seen in the title.

Vampire Bat: I don’t think that it could be related to the vampires in anyway though.

Vampire Owl: Who else can have the darkness around them without fear?

Vampire Bat: Ghosts, witches, demons, dark elves, orcs, goblins?

Vampire Owl: Okay, but there can still be something vampiric about it.

Vampire Bat: I am actually sensing a serial killer around here.

Vampire Owl: Well, there are heroes being made out of such killers.

Vampire Bat: Actually, we are not at that part, just not yet.

[Gets a chocolate cake and three cups of masala tea].

What is the movie about? :: Reporter Alicja Tabor (Magdalena Cielecka) returns to the city from her childhood, Walbrzych after a long time. A series of mysterious child kidnappings are occuring in the city, and nobody has any clue about what is happening. Using her skills as an experienced reporter, Alicja tries to solve at least a part of this strange mystery which has become quite baffling for the police department. She would have to meet the families of the missing children and solve a mystery which puzzles even the smartest, but at the same time, she also has a past which strangles her reasoning skills, as her childhood has that kind of memories which won’t let her sleep in peace. There are some of dramatic events which started decades earlier, at the same place. Now, she will have to face whatever she had been running away from during her earlier life – the terrifying secrets of her family and the horrors of her own childhood. Everything seems to be linked in one way or the other, and can she go beyond her own demons to solve the mystery?

The defence of Dark Almost Night :: This is one atmospheric movie like no other, as the setting and the environment that we see around raises this movie to a much higher level, better than any other quality. You can feel the invisible terror at all times, even though it is certainly not the kind of danger that is shown that much on the screen to bring the horror. Magdalena Cielecka nicely fits into that atmosphere, as the blending is perfect as far as her highly vulnerable character with a troubled childhood is concerned. Adapted from a much appreciated novel of the same name by Joanna Bator which is supposed to be a satisfying version, the movie does focus on the visuals really well and has found the perfect actresses to bring it to the screen. With such quality adaptation, we can say that the trauma and the emotional side are strong even when we don’t see them shown as melodrama – it is here that the beauty lies, as we can feel the same even when they are not focusing on it, for the movie has the feelings running through at all times.

The claws of flaw :: The movie lacks enough dialogues of significance to keep the tale going forward. There is also the presence of some confusing elements, and as the story keeps on going here and there, we will find the requirement for better explanations. There are moments when the movie should have been more direct with things, and as we are from another distant part of the world and another culture with no knowledge about the language, we do have some trouble, especially when the subtitles are not that great either. A good number of scenes are shown, and suddenly, they disappear, leading us to the present, past and the lives of different people without having enough focus on the necessary moments. The final moments could have also been stronger, as we just get there all of a sudden, and things end too fast. Instead, the focus should have been on the protagonist, and she should have been facing her demons in a highly emotional moments which could have no parallels by any means – the slower moments earlier could have been thus justified.

Performers of the soul :: Magdalena Cielecka, the almost fifty year old actress plays her role to perfection with such passive energy which would make the younger generation of actresses feel weak – Virginie Efira who is a little younger than her did the same in Sibyl, and her passivity was also stronger than a much younger secondary female character played by the lead from the much acclaimed Blue Is the Warmest Colour. Both are actually vulnerable characters, but don’t really show that to others, with some extreme feeling lying deep inside them which forces them to take some strange decisions. Magdalena actually shows that on so many occasions, and the melancholic reflection which can be seen on her face as well as a body with scars, in a believable manner. Eliza Rycembel who plays Ewa as well as Helena Norowicz who plays Rosemarie also gets into the creepy mystery really well, even though the film is very much Magdalena-based. The atmosphere itself is a fine performer, as you look around here.

How it finishes :: Dark Almost Night is not your usual kind of movie, and therefore, won’t satisfy all kinds of audience. The value of the film as an entertainer might be questioned by many people due to the divergent way in which it deals with the subject. Magdalena Cielecka has things in control, but the pace will still trouble people. But you are sure to love being transported to this particular dark world of mysteries and possible terror. This is the kind of atmosphere which Hollywood should use, as they already have the special effects to take the best advantage of it. Maybe, The Conjuring universe can combine it with the supernatural to create magnificence. We can wait for that, and for now, it is up to us to enjoy Dark Almost Night, something of visual quality that we will remember. I am surely hoping to watch more Polish movies after this, especially those which have the same leading actress. We are never that short of such a need during the COVID-19 crisis.

[Gets a vegetable puffs along with another cup of tea].

Vampire Owl: This movie could have scored better in things other than atmosphere.

Vampire Bat: Yes, they could have better used the potential which was there.

Vampire Owl: This is a movie which was surely not watched by many people, and so, not many people know about it.

Vampire Bat: But the leading lady here is perfect fit for such a mystery, don’t you think?

Vampire Owl: Yes, and she needs a usual type of horror movie to add to her list.

Vampire Bat: The melancholic emotions that she display has a certain amount of beauty.

Vampire Owl: There are so many talented actresses whom we never knew about.

Vampire Bat: She is just one of the many such actresses with high quality skills.

Vampire Owl: There are so many performers we should know about.

Vampire Bat: As knowledge doesn’t come with immortality, we need to look forward to other areas including books.

[Vanishes into the shadows behind the teak tree].

Release date: 22nd March 2019
Running time: 114 minutes
Directed by: Borys Lankosz
Starring: Magdalena Cielecka, Rafal Mackowiak, Modest Rucinski, Eliza Rycembel, Antonina Litwiniak, Roma Gasiorowska, Aleksandra Konieczna, Wlodzimierz Dyla, Jerzy Trela, Nikola Karwowska, Helena Norowicz, Malgorzata Hajewska, Mateusz Czulowski, Marcin Dorocinski, Piotr Polak

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Diablo

Vampire Owl: Do you remember having played the game Diablo?

Vampire Bat: Yes, how can I forget that! But this movie is surely not based on that.

Vampire Owl: Yes, I can see that it is more based on car racing, and reminds us of Need For Speed and Fast and Furious.

Vampire Bat: There is no other RPG action game which had me immersed in it like Diablo.

Vampire Owl: I guess that it was Diablo 2 which our attention the most.

Vampire Bat: Until The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was released, I was still in Diablo 2.

Vampire Owl: And when Diablo 3 released a very long time later, we were very much out of the gaming world.

Vampire Bat: With Oblivion, one could be bitten by a vampire and become one, and it was optional to find a cure for that. Those were the best moments of my gaming life.

Vampire Owl: We still often like the sequels, the second games more than the first ones and third ones.

Vampire Bat: Yes, like Diablo 2, Warcraft 2, Disciples 2, Age of Wonders 2, Quake 2, Need For Speed 2 and Age of Empires 2.

[Gets a vancho cake and three cups of cardamom tea].

What is the movie about? :: Kuba (Tomasz Wlosok), a young man who has a seriously ill little sister to take care of, decides to take part in some illegal races to make some quick money, as it is not possible with his usual job by the day. He has to work at night with these races, and has to go through the darker corners, but he thinks that he can do it. But the racing world is not as easy for him go through, as there are many others who are looking forward to make quick money, and the experienced racers will always have a problem with someone new coming into the picture. The dealings are not always straight, and here, it is like you get everything or you will have nothing – it is the risk which he has to take. There is so much of money involved, and this race which is named after the devil himself will have more to be seen than what meets the eye. Still, nothing stops one from hoping against all kinds of hope in the world.

So, what happens with the events here? :: Kuba also comes across Ewa (Karolina Szymczak), another racer whom he beats in a race, and they are attracted to each other. Love for cars, bikes and racing are just a few of the things which keep going for them, but there is something about her family background which can cause deep trouble for that particular relationship. There are many other things happening along with the racing, as the background has more things written down with clarity. Behind racing, something illegal might be happening, and Kuba might not need to become a part of it cause further trouble. But as he desperately needs the money for his little sister’s heart operation, there are not many things that he wouldn’t do. As everything comes down to that final showdown, Kuba needs to make some tough decisions so that he can be successful, and get what he has always wanted to get. But can he do it? Can Kuba achieve what he intended to do or will he end up missing out here?

The defence of Diablo: The Race for Everything :: It is evident that this is one movie which wants to be like Fast and Furious, without focusing that much on action, keeping things rather simple, as we see it. There are not many other things happening in this movie, and as this is a short movie, and with some moments of racing added here and there, it won’t have many moments to slow things down, even though it does at times. The visuals are all nice, and we feel good to see Warsaw with all its beauty, and inspires us to make a visit to Poland – some of these nations which are not situated to the west of Europe are worth having some trips, and the Polish cities make it to the list along with Romania which brings the Dracula feeling, Estonia, Bulgaria, Belarus, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Hungary, Moldova, Latvia etc among the others. When we watch these movies from the area, we are more attached to the places which are less visited from the tourists from this part of the world. This movie even got a feel-good ending, and it is nice.

The claws of flaw :: Diablo: The Race for Everything doesn’t have any direct relationship with its title meaning the devil, and it is completely dependent on the races and a little bit of action with the guns and some punches which comes in between. More could have been done with the movie instead of focusing on the essentials, and keeping everything close to the usual, staying on the safe side. The romantic relationship here is also half-baked, not really getting to be something of interest, as Karolina Szymczak gets much less than she should have, as we see her beginning so well with her introduction into the movie. There is also certain amount of lack of speed displayed by this movie at times, which is not acceptable for this kind of movie, and there could have also been a better feeling of danger, with everything at stake – but the movie doesn’t try that much to make one feel for the characters despite having a severely ill kid as a motive for illegal car racing.

How it finishes :: Diablo: The Race for Everything does have enough to keep you engaged, despite not having much to raise it level, much to the dismay of the fans of the Fast and Furious franchise, and the admirers of racing fans. But when you need just what this movie brings, which is as much as a usual film with all these contents is supposed to bring, you can get yourself to enjoy it enough. This is also the first Polish movie which I had ever watched from a place which had reowned makers of cinema like Roman Polanski, Andrzej Munk, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Andrzej Wajda, Agnieszka Holland, Andrzej Zuławski and Jerzy Skolimowski. I hope to add a good number of Polish movies to the list, but this seems to be a good start to a procedure which is to last many years. Diablo: The Race for Everything can be considered as a poor man’s Fast and Furious, which stays somewhere around there, and manages to bring the entertainment.

[Gets some french fries along with another cup of tea].

Vampire Owl: So, the gaming life is going on well. Isn’t it?

Vampire Bat: Yes, even the dialogue about Diablo has inspired me to look at those older games which we tried when we were in school.

Vampire Owl: The game is the diablo that most of us PC gamers of late 1990s and early 2000s will never forget.

Vampire Bat: Also, El Diablo from Suicide Squad, the less appreciated movie.

Vampire Owl: Yes, how can I forget the DC metahuman with powers of flames?

Vampire Bat: Especially when DC has only started to bring their movies.

Vampire Owl: Justice League might never be the Avengers.

Vampire Bat: Well, Aquaman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman are already loved more than usual. So we can only wait and see.

Vampire Owl: The biggest disadvantage of the Corona Virus has been its attack on the movies, especially those like Black Widow which was supposed to be here in April.

Vampire Bat: Well, that virus will take the movie lovers’ curse.

[Vanishes into the shadows behind the teak tree].

Release date: 18th Jaunary 2019
Running time: 106 minutes
Directed by: Daniel Markowicz, Michal Otlowski
Starring: Karolina Szymczak, Tomasz Wlosok, Cezary Pazura, Agnieszka Wlodarczyk, Katarzyna Figura, Rafal Mohr, Jacek Beler, Cezary Zak, Karolina Pilarczyk, Cezary Lukaszewicz, Wojciech Bocianowski, Marcin Rozalski

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.