8

Haunted Poland ( 2011 ) – European Ghost Story

 

European ghost story

With Haunted Poland the Found Footage genre tries it’s hand at telling a European ghost story for a change. I was kind of a little excited about this prospect as it was one of those films that had slipped under the radar a bit. From what I heard the film seemed to be a level or two above the more independent low budget Found Footage so surely I was in for a treat………

Judging a Book By It’s Cover

Well I’m afraid the treat did not come through ladies and gentlemen – this was plain, very plain. Sometimes I understand the argument that maybe there are to many Found Footage films on the market diluting the ‘good stuff’.

This was not a terrible film by any stretch of the imagination but it offered nothing I had not seen before. To be honest I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed overall.

The European Ghost Story

Well the film starts off and we are thrown right into things! There are no typical warnings of ‘police recovered this footage’ or ‘these are not actors’ etc etc. The camera work is a little jerky in places and that set off a few alarm bells. It was more the quality and transition of the recording more than the camera moving to much.

This European ghost story had two European actors as the main characters ( naturally! ) but they both spoke good English and there were no real problems with them getting conversations across.

Personally I have never been to Poland so I was a little upbeat – the worse case scenario would be a crap film but at least I get to see some of the country!

A Vacation Video

I was not let down in my quest to see some parts of Poland – the first part of this film was more or less a vacation video as the young couple visit the girl’s relatives in Poland. We are taken through various landmarks and night spots and the carefree couple generally have a good time.

There is no real sign of the film being a European ghost story for the first half an hour or as the characters worked well together and seemed excited to be exploring her home town. There are a few scenes that involve the female character’s immediate family and these are quite realistic – the family seem well cast and comfortable/natural on screen.

Paranormal Happenings

When the paranormal activity started up in this European ghost story I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed. The pair are stood filming a rather creepy Jesus statue at night and something flies past them – it was pretty lame at best!

Shortly after this incident our female lead complains of a headache and pretty much turns into a complete pain in the ass for the remainder of the film.

I was not really scared at any point in this film – it failed to engage me on a horror level! We see the girl staring at things that are not there then doors slamming by themselves in abandoned buildings but nothing unique really.

When you compare this European ghost story to films from the exact same genre like Paranormal Activity or Emergo you will realize how wafer thin it is in parts.

Changes

So the female moods change for the worse and we start to hear noises and see things – big deal! Before long an old friend of our female lead turns up and the paranormal activity begins to gather pace. This is usually in the form of sleepwalking or nighttime activity which works rather well – some scenes were creepy enough!

In one scene we see the couple find the friend in a trance like state by the kitchen window in the dark of night. Once they have managed to wake her up the scene quickly switches to the boyfriend who displays a rather freaky ‘demon face’ and scream.

This scene was the only real scene of note in the film from my point of view ( so sorry if I’ve just ruined it for you lol ). The film had as many holes as a fishing net in it’s story line – there seemed to be no real direction or purpose to the haunting’s and this irritated me ( truth be told I got a little bored! ).

Conclusion

This was a pretty natural way to film a European ghost story and the location and originality of the setting should of been enough to propel the film forward – it was not!

The ending was probably one of the worst endings I have seen to a Found Footage horror ( and I’ve seen quite a few, believe me! ). So we’re pretty much stuck with a slow beginning, no real story to follow in the middle of the film and no real ending – you see where I’m going here?

I’m afraid the Found Footage genre could well do without this addition to it’s ranks. When you think about films that had ZERO budget like Aussie flick The Secluded House or the impressive Ghost Footage you realize this effort should have turned out a lot better.

The male character seemed to whinge and live in the female’s pocket throughout the film and she was the queen of bitches to everyone she met – it just didn’t work.

If this was a YouTube Low budget offering I could of forgiven it’s lack of ‘guts’. But it had a unique location and plenty of chances to really stand out in the Found Footage genre – it wasted every one!

If you have any opinions on this European ghost story please feel free to leave them in the comment section below. With a bit of luck we may find someone who actually enjoyed the film…….

Chris

8 Comments

  1. It’s striking how little I can offer as far as really debating FF movies on this page goes, since I pretty much agree with the reviews every time. And that the case with this one as well. I remember watching this one back to back with “Tchernobyl Diaries” one night a couple of years ago and it probably left me with the impression that “TD” (who has a fellow Norwegian in the cast) was a much better movie than it probably is. “Haunted Poland” gave me one of those why-did-they-even-bother experiences and I’m probably not gonna watch it again.

    I also have to brag about my list of FF movies posted on IMDB this week. It contains close to 200 FF movies right now and it’s probably the longest list of its kind on the site. Hard to get it a 100 % accurate since I’ve forgotten about certain movies I’ve seen and some of the low budget flicks I’ve sat through aren’t even on the site. Still, it was a geeky and interesting experience putting it together.

    • Funny you should mention that John, I was actually checking out a list on IMDb the other night ( I wonder if it was yours? ). Anyway, feel free to leave a link to it here if you want. 🙂

        • Cheers John – Awesome list! How many of them did you find out about on this site…
          Only kidding – great to see someone taking the time to do a list like this. There are quite literally millions of found footage fans out there looking for info on films. I started off this site with no real idea of how popular it was going to get. At the moment I can’t really keep up with the amount of visitors I get a day ( I’ve had to switch to a more secure server to handle everyone – the site was slowing down lol ).
          If you ever find any FF information share it here – there are a lot of fans that read these comments every day and they will definitely appreciate the input ( as I do! ). Thanks for your continued support 🙂

          • Thanks for the comment on my list, I would say between 30 or 40 (maybe more) of the films on it came to my knowledge through topfoundfootagefilms.com. And it’s really great to hear that site is getting so much attention, Your effort for the FF comunity can not be praised enough.

            Have you ever thought about having a complimentary Facebook group as well?

          • That’s not a bad idea John, I haven’t really gone further than a few Google plus communities yet as I get so much traffic from simple organic Google searches! I may have to look into that – could act as some sort of forum for the site!

  2. What captures my attention in this review is the brutal honesty – no favoritism here. It’s very refreshing to read a movie review like this (ever thought about making a career out of it?)

    You establish your authority by comparing it to other movies in the same genre and highlighting its weaknesses compared to theirs.

    That being said, you also highlight this movies strengths, which in this case was seeing most of Poland.

    This was a very good read and I will be sure to be on the lookout for movie reviews from Roger Ebert over here haha.

    Great website – love it! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*