‘Nothing Bad Can Happen’ will make you squirm: 2 stars

06/26/2014 8:00 AM

06/25/2014 4:28 PM

Not rated | 1:46

In German with subtitles

Writer/director Katrin Gebbe’s ironically titled bit of torture porn was Germany’s only entry in the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. It tells the woeful tale of a fundamentalist Christian punk rocker (Julius Feldmeier) who becomes the unfortunate house guest of a sadist (Sascha Alexander Gersak). It was not available for reviews Stateside, but here’s what some of the Cannes critics had to say:

Scott Foundas, Variety: “Skillfully made first feature … has some undeniably striking passages and performances but ultimately spirals toward a gruesome third act that is no less monotonous for supposedly being based on true events … Gebbe has obvious (if misdirected) gifts as a filmmaker.”

Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine: “A film so comprehensively miscalculated in its desire to be a (crazy) think piece that it potentially creates a new category of offense for its multitudinous levels of dastardly nihilism masquerading as a socio-philosophical horror show.”

Nicholas Bell, ioncinema: “Bound to inspire as much derision as it does praise. Unfortunately, Gebbe’s debut doesn’t quite reach the same levels of finesse as uncomfortably similar fare and often tries too hard to be shockingly provocative, sometimes at the expense at some narrative and character development. Nevertheless, Gebbe’s film never loses its choke hold and will have you squirming uncomfortably until its final frames.”

(At Alamo Drafthouse.)

| Sharon Hoffmann, shoffmann@kcstar.com

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