I’m Not Scared


After a promising opening display of the malicious mob-mentality
of fifth graders, Gabriele Salvatores’ “I’m Not
Scared” unfortunately becomes yet another piece of tepid
slosh from Miramax, the leading distributor of pseudo-art films for
the masses.

Ten-year-old Michele stumbles upon a partially covered hole in
which — to his horror — he spots a foot poking out of a
blanket. Frightened but intrigued, he keeps returning to the hole
in order to feed his all-consuming curiosity about its occupant. He
finds out the foot belongs to a self-proclaimed dead boy. Who is
this child? Why is he trapped in this hole? Is he really dead?

Salvatores spoon-feeds the answers too soon, only a third of the
way through the film, and all is revealed in a conversation Michele
just happens to overhear. Thus, the question for the second half of
the movie is “Will Michele rescue the boy in the
hole?”— a far less compelling question than the
film’s initial enigma.

Salvatores’ worst offense, however, is the way his camera
shamelessly gazes at Michele and his wild child with an
aw-look-at-the-poor-little-adorable-kids condescension that turns
the two boys into flat children, rather than multidimensional

Though well filmed, Salvatores’ missteps turn the would-be
taut thriller into the usual boring, sentimental Western-European

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

— Raquel Laneri

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