Release Date: May 3, 2016 (VOD platforms)
Director: Adrián García Bogliano
MPAA Rating: NR
Runtime: 91 Minutes
This is a repost of our review from Tribeca 2015. Scherzo Diabolico is available now on VOD platforms.
Scherzo Diabolico, the latest film from Adrián García Bogliano, is a twisted tale of revenge that continually subverts the viewer’s theories about where it’s going and how it’s going to end. It’s a tough film to watch and an even tougher one to write about, considering the unique narrative path it takes, but this proves to be Bogliano’s best film yet, featuring a completely insane conclusion that shocked even a horror nut like myself.
García Bogliano seems to relish putting new spins on horror sub genres, from his disturbing supernatural thriller Here Comes The Devil, to his last film, the werewolf flick Late Phases. While I always find his movies to be rough around the edges, he is quickly making a name for himself in the horror world as someone with a unique voice, and this film is no different.
The film stars Francisco Barreiro as a man beaten down by the rigors of life. His wife doesn’t respect him; his boss doesn’t appreciate him; and he feels like he’s going nowhere with his career. One day, he begins hatching a plot that will pull him out of this funk and set him on the right path to achieve everything he feels he deserves.
Scherzo Diabolico is a film you want to go into completely cold. It starts off with what appears to be a kidnapping plot but veers off course in the most insane ways possible. The music and tone give it a pitch-black comedic element – the kind where you question your own moral compass after you laugh – but as the film progresses and the violence picks up, it’s anything but humorous.
It’s a gleefully nasty film, wearing its gratuitous sex and violence on its sleeve like a badge of honor, harkening back to the good ‘ole days of exploitation cinema. It’s a dark parable, hardly meant to be taken seriously, but it contains some very sticky subject matter that definitely straddles the line..
While I wouldn’t dare divulge what happens in the final act, it’s this radical shift that brings the whole film together – or completely derails it, depending on your perspective. Although I’m not sure all the actions of this character were completely justified, it did make for an insanely interesting twist that certainly no one will see coming.
García Bogliano has once again brought a new and interesting spin to horror cinema with his most polished, and most entertaining, work to date. With its bizarre injections of comedy and its shocker of an ending, Scherzo Diabolico is one no horror fan should skip.