Like a twisted gothic fairy tale, the D’Innocenzo brothers’ impressive second feature unfolds with the haunting atmosphere of dream that gradually transforms into a waking nightmare. A group of families, connected in various ways, live their lives in the suburbs of Rome in not so quiet desperation. Through a series of vicious vignettes we see parents committing casual acts of cruelty on their children who, in turn, also wreak havoc. Beautifully realised, with a standout performance from the wonderful Elio Germano, playing an unstable, unemployed father, Bad Tales builds to a memorable denouement. Savage and certainly more bitter than sweet, this blackly comic satire is the reward for the ambition and originality of its filmmakers’ vision.
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