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When Bad Things Happen to Good People: Review of Nothing Bad Can Happen

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Nothing Bad Can Happen is one of those films that is incredibly wrenching and hard to watch; a story that breaks your heart and soul and hurts deeply. For those who don’t mind emotional sadomasochism—or relish it—this is a film for you.

The story starts off innocently enough; Tore, a young Jesus freak and Christian punk down on his luck moves in with a seemingly benevolent family kind enough to take him in. Tore met this family because of the way he helped its patriarch, Benno: by praying to jumpstart the man’s stalled car. Strangely, his prayers were heard over the billions of others uttered, screamed, and pleaded here on Earth, and the friendship quickly sparks. Benno helps Tore when he has a seizure, then invites him to camp out in his yard after—gasp—Tore catches his friend having premarital sex! HORROR OF HORRORS!

As if in a reverse slasher, wherein refusing sex positivity is the road to ruin, Tore is now on his way. Benno is quite the non-believer, and that’s just the beginning. Some icky implications arise over Benno’s relationship to his step-daughte and the situation becomes grosser still when Benno unreasonably suspects that Tore is becoming too close to the object of his perverse affections. Cue the possibly-maybe-probably-not “accidental” face punch. Like most spouses of really warped individuals, Benno’s wife is also a piece of nasty work. She accuses Tore of stealing food from the garbage—like that matters—and the couple force him to eat a rotting chicken carcass.

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Tore incredulously doesn’t get the hell out, and the atrocities get predictably worse and more abusive. The film, purportedly based on a true story, is Directed by Katrin Gebbe, who appears to be a provocateur on all counts. This being her first feature, she is decidedly confident. Nothing Bad Can Happen is a brutal piece of assault on the senses that will desiccate your soul and effectively wreck you—if you have the faith to not run away screaming.

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Nothing Bad Can Happen arrives in U.S. theatres on June 27.

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About Michele Galgana

Michele “Izzy” Galgana is a freelance writer and film festival programmer. She has curated films for the Boston Underground Film Festival, Boston Science Fiction Film Festival, All Things Horror Online screening nights, and has written for Rue Morgue and All Things Horror Online.

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