Birds Eye View Film Festival 2014: Nothing Bad Can Happen

by Daniel Goodwin on 13/04/2014

nothing bad can happen

What starts as a quaint drama about a young, child-like Christian (Julius Feldmeier) taken in by a struggling family to help work on their allotment, Nothing Bad Can Happen slowly evolves into a different beast entirely.

A sense of foreboding is evoked from the outset via a subtly unsettling score by the award-winning Peter Folk and Johannes Lehniger and the creeping discomfort is gradually built upon by subtle character and narrative development.

Relationships are developed, established and then torn apart and with genre-transcending plot curves: writer/ director Katrin Gebbe shatters audience expectations in a manner that hasn’t been as well accomplished since Takashi Miike’s Audition (1999).

Julius Feldmeier is outstanding in the lead as the devout, put upon Christian conveying a lowly, emphatic humbleness to protagonist Tore, while Sascha Alexander Gersak as the gruff, Neanderthal stepfather Benno channels repressed jealousy then mounting aggression with terrifying conviction. 

There is a slight story sag in the middle as relationships are developed at the expense of plot progression but the pace picks up dramatically once the pieces are in place, fresh conflicts surface and the film evolves into a maleficent nightmare.

Director Gebbe toys with our understanding of filmic conventions as the story develops transcending expected genre trappings. NBCH is best approached with as little prior knowledge about the narrative as possible but could, and probably will, be marketed to appeal to a certain established audience base, even though there is nothing else quite like it out there.

Due to limited marketing it may very well fade into art-house obscurity but its quality and originality will hopefully ensure that in time NBCH will be celebrated by the wider audience it deserves. Best to catch it now while it’s raw and uncharted.

Daniel has awarded Nothing Bad Can Happen five Torches of Truth

5 torches rating


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