A young man named Joseph (Jan Nowicki) is visiting his father in an old Sanatorium, but when he gets there he finds out his father has breathed his last breath and is about to die. But something strange has happened, despite not breathing, he isn't dead yet. Possibly due to Joseph's arrival maybe stopping time within the building.
As Joseph wanders the building, he finds himself in many strange rooms. Some full of his dreams, some of nightmares. All very strange indeed.
Trust me, you'll probably be confused 10 minutes in as Joseph visits his own memories and well, somewhere else entirely.
I've never seen a Polish "horror" film before, horror in quotes there as I wouldn't describe the film as a horror despite it having many horrorish scenes. It's much more of a fantasy.
But after seeing this film, I want to see more.
It's a great and strange film of which I could never imagine to see being made today.
Nowadays it seems writers and directors have lost their edge.
Wojciech Has definitely had that edge when making this film. I can't quite put my finger on it but there's something special there that makes it stand out in front of many modern nightmarish films of today.
The only man I can think of who still has that edge is David Lynch, who must have taken some inspiration from Wojciech's films.
Based on the novel 'Sanatorium Under The Sign of The Hourglass', one can only hope it can be found to purchase. I've read that it is a challenging book to get through, which is one problem the film didn't have.
It manages to suck you in by its beautiful visuals and excellent acting which makes you fascinated by everything you see on screen. Everything sticks out like a sore thumb, in the best way possible.
The only thing you do find troubling is realising what it is meant to be real and what is just fantasy. You'll likely find yourself thinking something weird is going to happen to yourself after the film too, like after playing a videogame for so long and you see the real world like the game world.
One thing to note, there is a lot of nudity in the film so make sure you aren't against that before pressing play.
A well deserved
With this newly restored Blu-Ray version, it looks and sounds how I expect Wojciech would have wanted it to look and sound.
Unfortunately there are no special features, and I'm a sucker for special features.
But I'd still recommend buying the Blu-ray which you can preorder here.
The film is to be released 07/09/15
So make sure you get your hands on it as soon as you can.