The “camp out in the woods” subgenre of horror is rich in content, if not in quality.
For every Deliverance, The Burning, Southern Comfort, Rituals, and the compellingly underrated The Final Terror, there’s three or four dozen plus nubiles frolicking on a summer retreat flicks. At its nadir, there’s the ineptly hilarious Don’t Go in the Woods! (yes, the Jeopardy!-style exclamation point is part of the title) a title which bears similarities to this Polish production, though luckily not in its execution.
The bugbear of a lot of modern horrors is as follows: how to explain away near-universal phone connectivity, and why when a maniac in a mask is bearing down on you, you cannot simply put a call in to the authorities and be saved by GPS. Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight brilliantly deals with the problem by making the camp out in the wilderness, specifically designed for people addicted to their devices! That means, toss those phones in the bin, kids. Yes, that means you Twitch Gamer and you, YouTube personality.
There’s a terrific aerial shot of the buses getting to their destination via remote logging roads.
Then the kids (numbering at least 100 plus) are separated from their tech, subdivided into little platoons, and each with a camp counsellor, are made to go off into the wilderness to camp out like Bear Grylls and appreciate the beauty of nature.
Unfortunately, there’s a creature with a genesis a bit like The Thing that’s horribly disfigured, mean and nasty, and out for blood.
It’d be easy to dismiss Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight as a man in a rubber suit monster movie, if it weren’t so darned fun.
While viewers may not pick up on the nuances a Pole might appreciate, nonetheless there are enough well-written tried-and-true characters in whom to invest, some very odd courtship, not to mention some well-done practical effects gore.
*** (out of 5)
[Don’t forget to check out the podcast discussion of Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight]