In ‘Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight,’ director Bartosz M. Kowalski (‘Playground’) pays homage to all the classic and campy slasher films he grew up watching. Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz, Michał Lupa, Sebastian Dela, Wiktoria Gąsiewska, and Stanisław Cywka star as teenagers Zosia, Julek, Daniel, Aniela, and Bartek, respectively, who have been forced to temporarily give up all of their smart devices and attend an offline camp.
Once there, they realize that they are being hunted by twin killers, who have been turned into grotesque and cannibalistic monsters by an alien black substance that came out of a meteorite that they found as children. Now, with their lives in danger, the teenagers must work together if they want to make it out of this horrifying ordeal alive. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight Plot Synopsis
‘Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight’ begins with a postman (Miroslaw Zbrojewicz), who, after hearing muffled screams coming from the basement of a house, tries to rescue whoever is in there. Instead, he gets dragged inside. Thirty years later, the five main characters arrive at the offline camp, along with several other young adults. They are put with Iza (Gabriela Muskala), a member of the camp’s staff. Not long after they head out of the camp for trekking, Daniel goes missing.
Zosia discovers blood on the side of a tree. As she, Iza, and Julek search for Daniel, they come across a ramshackle house. In its basement, they find Daniel’s mutilated body. When one of the inhabitants return, the three try to escape, but the monstrous man decapitates Iza. Elsewhere, Aniela is killed by the second monster. With no access to phone or internet, all the remaining teenagers can do are to is to run and survive.
Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Ending
After being forced to kill Julek on his request, Zosia takes a giant machete and swings it down on the abdomen of a sleeping monster. She initially just wanted to escape through the basement window, but as the deaths of all her friends come rushing back to her, she decides that she can’t leave without ensuring that this might never happen again.
Elsewhere, the postman hopes to get his own share of revenge and prepares his gun as he hears footsteps outside. Unfortunately, it is Bartek, who had somehow managed to escape from the clutches of one of the monsters and was trying to find his path to safety. His reappearance is so sudden and unexpected that it catches the audience by surprise.
But we are bereft of even a momentary celebration of his survival, as he dies from friendly fire from the postman. As far as slasher films go, this kind of death is quite tragic, surviving the monster but dying in the hands of an equally terrified victim.
After running through the woods for what must have seemed like an eternity, Zosia comes across a police officer, who is there for a weekly rendezvous with a prostitute. She is so traumatized that she is unable to tell him anything about what has happened to her. For Zosia, this current distressful experience brings back the painful memory of the deaths of her parents and younger sister in a car accident. But time and again, she proves herself to be strong enough to deal with her circumstances, mentally at least.
Neither Daniel nor Aniela gets a chance to respond to the notion of being hunted before they were killed. On the other hand, Julek and Bartek do and go on to have panic attacks. In Julek’s case, it’s so severe that he stops functioning altogether, and it takes Zosia to forcefully assert herself to pull him back out of it. However, she remains largely calm and collected throughout the film, despite experiencing an unimaginable amount of horror.
The remaining monster tracks her down, forces the officer to stop the car by getting hit by it, and splits him into two halves once he comes near him. When he goes to attack Zosia, she manages to start the car and then run him down multiple times, just to be sure that he is truly dead. For Zosia, who has suffered incredible tragedy in her life and has dealt with insurmountable grief, the moments in which she is flattening the monster into the ground, allow her to have a sense of control over the things that have been happening in her life.
The Monsters Live Again
Despite Zosia’s earnest attempts, the monsters don’t die and are resurrected. The one that died on the road wakes up with two modern Nazis approaching him. The other one gets up and sees police cars outside, likely because Zosia has reported what happened to her and her friends. Whatever that black substance is, it has given the twins certain abilities, along with turning them into disfigured and cannibalistic monsters.
They are much larger than normal people and have immense power. Although they are quite sluggish, they kill both Daniel and the priest (Piotr Cyrwus) by moving with such eerie quietness that they didn’t notice them until it was too late. Most importantly, they seem to have some incredible healing powers. Otherwise, neither of them would have survived after what Zosia did to them.
With the monsters rising again, the fates of the two drunken Nazis are sealed. The police have no idea what they are walking into. Even if Zosia told them everything she knows, it’s just not enough to prepare them for their encounter with a truly monstrous being.