films seen
average score
Alive and kicking



Ostatnia Wieczerza
2022 / 91m - Poland
Hellhole poster

One hell of a Polish horror film. The setup is pretty simple and thematically Hellhole has nothing new to offer, but Kowalski puts all his marbles on mood and atmosphere, and that's where this one shines. If the finale had come a bit earlier this could've been a personal favorite, but I was still pretty damn impressed in the end.

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Marek is a police officer who disguises himself as a monk and goes undercover in a remote monastery. Several women have disappeared in the neighborhood and word is that they were all taken there. Marek discovers that the monastery's exorcism work is fake, but the reason behind it is far more sinister than he could've imagined.

The setting is pretty awesome, but it's Kowalski's pointed direction that makes all the difference. A moody score and top-notch cinematography create a tangible feeling of discomfort, the build-up toward the finale is solid (but a tad too long), and the finale itself kicks ass. One of the better horror scenes I've seen in years, it's just a little disappointing the film ends there. Looking forward to Kowalski's next film though, he's definitely one to watch.

Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight 2

W Lesie Dzis Nie Zasnie Nikt 2
2021 / 96m - Poland
Horror, Comedy
Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight 2 poster

An expected sequel, after the first one turned quite a few heads, and not just because it was the first-ever Polish slasher flick. Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight was gleefully self-aware, a trait that this sequel inherited. Don't expect another slasher pastiche though, Kowalski was smart enough to add some new twists and turns.

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After the events of the first film, both Zosia and the killers end up in jail. The local police chief takes Zosia back to the scene of the crime, but there she turns into a gruesome killer and shreds him on the spot. It's up to Wanessa and Adas, two police constables, to locate Zosia before she murders even more people.

The gore is pretty brutal, the characters are pleasantly daft and Kowalski proves he's not just a slasher nut, but he knows about other horror niches too. The film becomes pretty unhinged in the second half, just adds to the appeal if you ask me. A worthy sequel, bring on part three.

Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight

W Lesie Dzis Nie Zasnie Nikt
2020 / 102m - Poland
Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight poster

A typical film from a fanboy director whose country isn't know for producing horror films. I'm willing to bet Poland hasn't seen too many backwoods horror/slasher films yet, Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight is a conventional ode with just enough of a personal touch to keep it from turning into a lazy copy.

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A camp for kids who need to detox from their online presence, a trek in the woods, a mutant boy who escapes from his hideout. You've seen it all before, Kowalski adds a couple of minor twists (mostly in the origin story), but in the end it doesn't change much to the core of the film. A fat Polish hillbilly is stalking the woods and killing whoever comes near his home.

The film is happy to throw around references to other horror films, but often in a smart way (like the slasher sounds that are mixed into a romantic soundtrack). Kowalski shows a keen awareness of the kind of film he's making and expects the same from his audience. Performances are fine, characters are goofy, the kills are pleasantly brutal and the presentation is slick. A very entertaining film indeed.