Jason Coffman reviews “Scherzo Diabolico” and “The Boy” for Film Monthly



2016 has been a big year for prosaic horror film titles. The Forest, The Witch, The Other Side of the Door, and The Darkness will all have seen release before half the year is over. Other than The Witch, all of these films are (or in the case of the as yet unreleased The Darkness, look like they will be) pretty standard early-year studio multiplex filler. The Boy, for the most part, is just another one of these products as well. When discussing mid-level American studio horror releases like these, it helps to put them in context with their peers. For example, saying The Boy is definitely better than The Forest but not as good as The Lazarus Effect may help the viewer looking for a passable genre time-waster decide whether or not to give it a look.


Adrián García Bogliano made a big impression on horror fans with his first English-language feature Late Phases, which was also a pretty big departure for the filmmaker in other ways. He didn’t write the screenplay, and the subject matter–a blind veteran taking on a werewolf terrorizing a retirement community–couldn’t have been more different from most of his previous work. Bogliano and his brother Ramiro García Bogliano first caught the attention of the international horror scene with nasty exploitation films like Rooms for Tourists and I’ll Never Die Alone, but his more recent work has been based more in the supernatural. His latest featureScherzo Diabolico is something of a return to the kind of films he was making a decade ago, although with much higher production values.


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