Repulsive Reviews: Nothing Bad Can Happen (2013)

Nothing Bad Can Happen (originally titled Tore Dances) is German director Katrin Gebbe’s first feature length film. The film received mixed reviews after its screening at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and currently holds a 7.0/10 on IMDb and a 71% on the tomatometer, deservedly so.

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Reminiscent of Martyrs? Really?

Nothing Bad Can Happen follows Tore (Julius Feldmeier), a young man involved in an underground Christian-punk movement in Hamburg called Jesus Freaks. As luck would have it, Tore meets a family having car trouble at a rest stop, and him and his friend Owl help the family. After a prayer and a little kiss on the hood of the car, the engine is fixed!

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Tore hard at work

Tore explains Jesus Freaks to Benno (Sascha Alexander Gersak), the man whose truck he just kissed, and invites him to a Friday service. Benno does in fact show up to the service, just in time to carry Tore out during an epileptic seizure, which we later learn Tore believes is the Holy Spirit communicating with him. Benno takes Tore home and invites him to stay with the family. Soon, Benno sets up a tent for Tore in the backyard, and in return Tore helps with yard work.

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Godsend Benno escorting Tore to safety

Unfortunately, Tore brings out Benno’s dark side, and Benno becomes increasingly violent throughout the course of the film. Rather than dealing with the abuse like any normal person would, Tore treats it as a test to prove his faith. And that’s it really, but god is it effective. The highlight of the film by far is Sascha Alexander Gersak as Benno, his performance is flawless. In fact, there’s not a bad performance in the film, and this is most of the actors first, if not only acting credit. The character of Benno is the best scumbag I’ve seen on screen since Daniel Henshall as John Bunting in The Snowtown Murders. And if I had to compare Nothing Bad to any other film, it would be that. Both films explore dark sides of human nature with an off putting sense of realism that, in the end, leave you wanting to take a shower more than anything.

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Me, after watching Nothing Bad Can Happen

As much as I’d love to go into the abuse Tore is put through, I feel this film is best if you go in blind. And while it is nowhere near torture porn, the film leaves you with the same bad taste you may get after watching any entry in the August Underground trilogy. Nothing Bad Can Happen is a relentless film that sticks with you for days after a viewing. If you’re not left with a lump in your throat and a sense of emptiness by the time “Based on a true story” appears on the screen, I applaud you.

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Benno is a funny man

For a first feature, Katrin Gebbe did an outstanding job, and I’m very excited to see what she directs in the future. She has a film titled The Field Guide to Evil currently in pre-production, so that’s something to look forward to! Nothing Bad Can Happen is available for streaming on Shudder, and on both blu ray and DVD through Drafthouse Films.

I give Nothing Bad Can Happen a 7/10

 

And if you enjoy suffering, make it a double bill and watch The Snowtown Murders too!

Watch a trailer for Nothing Bad Can Happen here.


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