My review & pics of “Nothing Bad Can Happen” N. American Premiere Q&A at Fantastic Fest 2013

On Tuesday, September 24, 2013 I attended the highly-anticipated North American Premiere of Nothing Bad Can Happen (Tore tanzt) at Fantastic Fest 2013 in Austin, Texas. The screening took place at the brand new Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline.

Nothing Bad Can Happen opens on young Tore (the frighteningly brilliant Julius Feldmeier), a typical German teenager, blonde hair, blue eyes...shy, smiling, and innocent...celebrating his love of Jesus. The very picture of sweetness. After some disappointing encounters with supposed friends, Tore leaves the "comfort" of his Hamburg community of Jesus Freaks for a better life...somewhere, anywhere...where there are folks he can trust. He comes across a seemingly loving family, Benno (Sascha Alexander Gersak), Astrid (Annika Kuhl), and their children, at a rest stop. Yes, he's found some kindred spirits.

But Fantastic Fest is a genre festival, and we know the title is ironic, and that's where the horror begins. Because things cannot possibly be what they seem, and we know the direction this is bound to take. The fact that it's based on a true story makes it that much more horrific. And I'll leave it at that.  

The achievement of these relatively inexperienced filmmakers and cast is nothing short of remarkable. Nothing Bad Can Happen is Feldmeier's very first feature film. It's also the debut feature for writer/director Katrin Gebbe, and quite an auspicious one, at that. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May where it was nominated for the Un Certain Regard Award. Producer Verena Gräfe-Höft had never taken on a full-length film before, and composers Peter Folk and Johannes Lehniger are new to the business as well. This is only the third narrative feature for editor Heike Gnida.

But there's some genre muscle behind the camera. Cinematographer Moritz Schultheiß shot Rammbock, one of my Top Picks from Fantastic Fest 2010 and one of my favorite films of that year. He was also behind the camera for The Station, Rammbock director Marvin Kren's followup which I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival just a few days before seeing Nothing Bad Can Happen.

This is unquestionably my #1 Fantastic Fest 2013 title in the "Real Life Horrors" category. It is easily one of the best films I saw and among the most horrific of the year.

Writer/director Katrin Gebbe and producer Verena Gräfe-Höft took the stage after the screening for a provocative Q&A session.

Here are some pictures I shot during the Q&A:



NOTE: Swantje Kohlhof was awarded Best Actress in Fantastic Fest's Next Wave Spotlight Competition. Nothing Bad Can Happen was Germany's only film at Cannes and one of four that Drafthouse Films picked up for US distribution coming out of the festival. It will arrive in theaters on Friday, June 27, 2014. 


Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at

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  • Author: Larry Richman
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