Cinema Review: Nothing Bad Can Happen | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 6th, 2023  

Nothing Bad Can Happen

Studio: Drafthouse Films
Directed by Katrin Gebbe

Jun 26, 2014 Web Exclusive
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Tore (Julius Feldmeier) believes in Jesus, and his faith is unshakable. He has no family, few friends, and no real social skills, but what he does have is God. One day, he and a fellow Jesus Freak – a German religious gang of runaways – encounter a family whose car has died, and Tore prays it back to life. Intrigued and amused by Tore’s spirituality, oppressive patriarch Benno (Sascha Alexander Gersak) takes the homeless Tore into his home. What at first appears a benevolent gesture soon turns dangerous, as Benno’s abusive nature takes over, and he routinely challenges Tore’s dedication to God through repeated and increasingly violent trials.

Nothing Bad Can Happen examines modern faith in a way few films do. For starters, Tore and the Jesus Freaks look like the kind of kids old ladies would cross the street to avoid – they wear spiky leather coats and bang their heads to heavy (Christian) metal. Appearances are very much deceiving, which is something Tore comes to learn intimately the longer he remains at Benno’s house. Benno’s disdain for religion doesn’t have an obvious source, but that doesn’t make it any less apparent. He rapidly takes it upon himself to challenge Tore’s beliefs by torturing him. The abuse Tore takes is not easy to stomach. Writer-director Katrin Gebbe spares viewers by cutting away from the most egregious violations moments before they happen, but that doesn’t make the film any more bearable.

Tore subjects himself to Benno’s harassment willingly to prove his dedication to his savior, but his victimhood makes him hard to connect with. One has to wonder who in his right mind would volunteer for such punishment. Tore allows himself to be deceived for a majority of the film, but his inaction is increasingly difficult to identify with. In the same way Passion of the Christ was a torture flick, so, too, is Nothing Bad Can Happen. It is as genuine an example of “turn the other cheek” as one can ask for, but that does not necessarily translate into consistently compelling filmmaking.

NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN - Trailer from Drafthouse Films on Vimeo.

Author rating: 6.5/10

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