I’m starting to learn that revenge flicks come in many forms. The sub-genre used to only contain films of beaten and battered women who escape their captors, only to seek vengeance in the most brutal of ways. While I happen to love films of that nature — I Spit on Your Grave (original and remake franchise), Savage Streets — it is still refreshing to see a new take on the old formula. That is exactly what we get with Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s newest flick, Scherzo Diabolico.
Aram (Francisco Barreiro, Here Comes the Devil) is a hard worker who does everything by the book; he stays late at work and tries to provide for his family the best that he can. Unfortunately, he never gets that promotion that he deserves and all his wife does is give him grief for it. He decides it is going to take something drastic, in order for things to change. After careful planning, he kidnaps his boss’ daughter, causing the man to lose his cool and on top of that, his job, the perfect opportunity for Aram to now swoop in and save the day, taking over the head position. Unfortunately, things don’t remain as Aram had intended for very long. Anabela (Daniela Soto Vell), now safely back at home, is traumatized from her experience and has become an entirely new person after her ordeal… a much more evil person, ready to get even with Aram in ways even she never thought possible.
I’ve seen quite a few pieces of writer/director Adrian Garcia Bogliano’s work at this point and I am surprised to see the outcome every time. Each project has been very different from the last and he continues to invent new ways to get his point across to the lucky audience who get to sit through his films. The man doesn’t need very much to work with in order to present a coherent, yet suspenseful and unpredictable cinematic experience.
Scherzo Diabolico is a slow burn film with a huge payoff in the end. It takes some time to understand the motives of our lead character, Aram, but once things get rolling, it all becomes clear. On top of that, once things appear to have settled down, that’s when Bogliano amps things up to the max. Made evident in so many of his other flicks, it is clear to see that the now seasoned filmmaker really only needs about 20 minutes to tie everything together and give the fans what they want. Once Scherzo reaches its third act, there is no turning back and we are treated to a myriad of gory scenes graced with some beautiful practical effects. If you’ve seen Bogliano’s previous work in Late Phases, you know he only brings the best to the table. Broken limbs, torn out intestines, and heads blown to bloody bits all look marvelous on the small screen.
Bogliano has a knack for taking things that don’t seem like they belong and making them fit right in. Scherzo Diabolico contains an unlikely score for a horror film, filled with beautiful piano classics by Beethoven and Mozart. The score not only sets the mood for its audience, but it plays a large part in the movie’s narrative and an even larger part in regards to the characters themselves. The constant rotation of classical music keeps Aram calm, while also allowing him to set the tempo for his kidnapping scheme. That same piano score is exactly what flips the switch in Anabela’s psyche, causing her to become the darker version of herself, hellbent on endless revenge.
While I loved Scherzo Diabolico, I can’t help but have a few questions. How does Anabela find out that Aram was the one who kidnapped her? How does this seemingly innocent high schooler go from sweetheart to unstoppable force? Head scratching aside, I enjoyed this film immensely and recommend it to fans of the revenge genre and of Bogliano, in general. The man never disappoints and I will continue to look forward to any and all future projects he may have coming our way.
Be sure to watch Scherzo Diabolico, available now on VOD and Digital HD from Dark Sky Films.
I give Bogliano’s latest work of bloody art 4 superhero costumes out of 5.