Scherzo Diabolico review – horror/humour hybrid is no Coen bros caper

There’s an “aha” moment deep into Scherzo Diabolico when you’ll discover the lead character, Aram (Francisco Barreiro), is not quite the vicious monster you think he is. It’s at or around the same point you can start making a case that this latest from Spanish-born, Mexican-based horror director Adrián García Bogliano is more than just a gruesome exercise in exploitation. Unfortunately, it’s too little too late for both. This kidnapping tale gone awry, while not without one or two moments of genuine electricity, is just too nasty for its own good.

Barreiro’s Aram is a working stiff middle-manger, stuck putting in overtime hours without overtime pay. His wife disrespects him, his young son can’t relate to him outside of superhero costumes. In his spare time he researches how to put people in sleeper holds (practising on his senile father) and stalks a teen girl. He’s also sleeping with

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