CRACOW MONSTERS on Netflix is a new horror series from Poland (org. title Krakowskie potwory). As always with Polish productions, the actual production quality is absolutely gorgeous. Season 1 has eight 45-minute episodes. Read our full Cracow Monsters season 1 review here!
CRACOW MONSTERS is a new Netflix horror series from Poland (org. title Krakowskie potwory) with a supernatural storyline. We’ve reviewed quite a lot of Netflix productions from Poland – as well as other Polish productions – and we are always amazed at the production quality.
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Continue reading our Cracow Monsters season 1 review below. You can watch all 8 episodes of the season on Netflix now.
Demons roaming the streets of Cracow
Okay, admittedly, demons aren’t “just” roaming around the streets of Cracow from the beginning of Cracow Monsters. However, demons (and other supernatural entities) are playing huge parts in the story from the very beginning. And a demon is creating literal havoc for a while in the city by episode 2.
In a sort of indirect way, but still. And it continues to get more intense and dangerous from there as a group of students (all with abilities of some sort) try to fight against the evil.
When it comes to the actual demonic – and otherwise supernatural – beings, the effects are very impressive. Instead of going crazy overboard with complex CGI, it tends to be more simple. The result: It looks really amazing in its simplicity.
A South Korean series such as Hellbound (which also dealt with supernatural and demonic beings) chose a style of CGI that was all kinds of over-the-top. It was weird at first, but it suited the comic book origin, and I got used to that fast. With Cracow Monsters, you accept the effects immediately because they are much more direct and simple. Also, CGI isn’t always involved.
Barbara Liberek stars as Alex
Another element of this Polish Netflix horror series that immediately feels natural, is its lead character. Her name is Alex (or Alexandra) and she’s portrayed wonderfully by Barbara Liberek. I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything before, but her androgynous-leaning appearance and very fluid sexuality is wonderful to see in a production from Poland.
It should be said, however, that most Polish Netflix productions have a lot of focus on diversity and inclusion. Something we might be used to from other countries, but in Poland (which has many LGBT-free zones as of January 2020), it means a lot more than you might expect.
The most important thing isn’t that Alex (Barbara Liberek) kisses boys and girls left and right. Instead, what makes it even more interesting is the fact that nobody assumes anyone else’s sexuality. That makes all the difference when someone in Poland watches this.
Another interesting element of the Alex character is that she’s been told that she has hallucinations and suffers from some sort of mental illness. However, as the story shows, something entirely different is at play. Now, I’m not saying that someone who hallucinates in real life has the same gifts or abilities as Alex. But I am saying that sometimes a label is attached to someone because it’s the easy answer. Not the right one!
In any case, having all of this as part of the storyline makes for a much more intriguing and diverse character gallery, which always makes things more interesting.
Watch season 1 of Cracow Monsters on Netflix now!
The episodes of Cracow Monsters are directed by Kasia Adamik and Olga Chajdas. Both previously worked on the Netflix series 1983 and the HBO series Wataha (2014-2020). In terms of international productions, Kasia Adamik also directed nine episodes of the Amazon Prime Video series Absentia starring Stana Katic.
The writers attached include Gaja Grzegorzewska, Magdalena Lankosz, and Anna Sienska. I’m not really familiar with any of them, and their IMDb resumes seem to be lacking, so I can’t speak to their past projects.
Season 1 of Cracow Monsters (org. title Krakowskie potwory) has a total of 8 episodes that are each under one hour long, so there are enough supernatural horror stories there to keep you entertained for a while. Or you can binge-watch the whole thing in a day or two, of course. No matter how you watch it, do give it a chance (preferably not the dubbed version, simply because the original is better).
Cracow Monsters season 1 is out on Netflix from March 18, 2022.
Stars: Barbara Liberek, Stanislaw Linowski, Andrzej Chyra, Malgorzata Bela, Kaja Chan
A young woman haunted by her past joins a mysterious professor and his group of gifted students who investigate paranormal activity — and fight demons.