Based on true events, Katrin Gebbe's Nothing Bad Can Happen tells the story of Tore, a teenager with nowhere to go who becomes involved with an underground Christian movement known as the Jesus Freaks. After a chance encounter with a stranded family, where Tore managers to start their car by consulting with god, he is invited to their home. Having no home or family, Tore becomes friendly with the family of four. Before long, Benno, the father, begins to play an increasingly cruel game in which he challenges Tore's beliefs. Nothing Bad Can Happen is not a film for the faint of heart, a taxing, dark experience about a young man's faith being pushed to extreme measures. Benno is a character that is basically the representation of evil, a character who methodically pushes Tore as much as possible, desiring to show Tore that there is no higher power. While the film is based off of a true story it does push things to extreme levels, making me question whether the director herself is a misanthrope, seemingly enjoying the senseless cruelty forced upon Tore by Benno. That being said I could make an argument that these extremes are somewhat necessary, with the film effectively telling Tore's story as a parable of Jesus, with him sacrificing himself in the end to give Benno's two children the push they need to save themselves from their evil parents. For a first time director, Gebbe's direction is impressive and self-assured, stylishly and effectively transporting the viewer into the psyche of Tore. While Nothing Bad Can Happen can be a tough experience, first time director Katrine Gebbe shows promise in delivering an unconventional story about the power of faith and through Tore's decisions, self-sacrifice.
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