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.
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.
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! ).
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…….