A couple travel to Poland but find themselves disturbed by an evil force when the girl returns to her home town where she once played a Ouija board.
While cam footage film continues to be all the rave, there are still a bundle of these movies that red flag the reason why alot “shouldn’t” be made. It doesn’t take a film school graduate to tell you that by simply picking up a camera and filming your vacation, that it qualities to be labeled a feature production. These movies continue to spill in like a virus, and in many senses of the word also slow down the process of getting to the more qualified films that deserve to be reviewed.
And so on to our review…. Pau (Pau Masó) and Ewelyn (Ewelina Lukaszewska) travel to Poland to vacation, site see, and visit relatives. It’s as much as a vacation-shot video as you can imagine simply following these 2 around town as they attend clubs, eat Polish meats and generally have a good time. The 2 of them, a young couple in love, continue their site seeing activities while Pau prods Ewelyn to visit various cemeteries and known haunted buildings.
Ewelyn, though begins a transformation from the happy girl who arrived into an often worried and concerned personality that doesn’t seem to be having as much fun as she should. The 2 of them are later joined by Ewelyn’s friend Irene (Irene González ) who participates in the site seeing activities. This goes on for about an hour, that is… until Ewelyn begins to get spooked. As we are told, she had an incident with an Ouija board at a young age that left her somewhat traumatized.
At some point in between filming, looking at a few Jesus statues, and passing by a cemetery, the 3 of them begin to show signs of odd behavior. This is always on camera and is usually in the form of a night time occurrence in the form of sleep walking (or sleep standing for that matter). The final act of the film changes from “just” tourist activity to the occasional odd spot that is supposed to suggest that the other person is “affected” to some degree. This combined with some staticky camera FX is where the film takes us.
Now we’ve have all seen enough of these films to know that you can’t carry a production by simply leading up to a “Blair Witch – standing with your back to us incident” or a “I’ll slightly contort like Emily Rose position”. It’s just not scary and not enough to suggest (and believable) that “something” has gone wrong. “Haunted Poland” borrows a couple inspirations from these films and never delivers a story to back up its “impact” moments. AND like other films this past year, it also feel comfortable enough with “that”… to leave out an ending. So to recap….no story, no ending…no meat in between, what does that equal? If your leaning towards “nothing”, then we understand each other.
It’s on that note, that just about anyone could film their vacation, walk into a room with your friend placed in an odd pose, and announce that you have the makings of a feature film. It’s just not true and continues to dissipate this trend that has quickly become “old hat”. My suggestion here, is to really go back and design the premise. The quick scare shots are delivered poorly and never give us any sort of foundation to which we “think” it’s more than someone’s cam corder tapes that they happened to slap a label on. This of course is not the first of this kind, but …. the more interesting ones are timed better and build upon a felt tension that gets us from point A to Z. There is a huge difference between mediocrity and brilliance. Brilliance arrived with many of the films found in this “found footage top 20 list“…not here.
I’m going to have to suggest leaving this one off the radar until the production team can really deliver something of value. “Haunted Poland” is not haunting, but it is in line with vacation footage and nothing more.
Haunted Poland (2012)