STUDIO: Buena Vista Home Vid.
MSRP:$29.99 RATED: R
RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes
• None

The back of the box declares I’m Not Scared as “worth seeing.” Is that considered high praise? Does the recommendation of “worth seeing” make potential buyers snatch the disc off Wal*Mart shelves? If you were stalking the aisles of Blockbuster would you bring home something that is “worth seeing”? Or would you still rent Navy Seals?

This is the freakiest nursery rhyme EVER.

The Flick

I’m Not Scared is a simple movie that doesn’t know what kind of thriller it wants to be. It starts off creepy before morphing into suspenseful before finally settling on generic. This is unfortunate because it draws in the viewer well and hooks them before it becomes bland.

I’m Not Scared takes place in a small Italian village and centers on a young boy named Michele (Giuseppe Cristiano). The town is a spooky place. There are few people and fewer buildings of any sort. Surrounding the town are fields where Michele often runs and plays. We can feel the isolation of the town. This separation from the outside world gives the movie an uneasy setting. 

“No, you’re doing it backwards! If you want Mr. Miyagi to pick you as the next, next Karate Kid you’ve got to perfect the crane kick!”

One day, while playing at an abandoned farmhouse, Michele stumbles across a piece of sheet metal covering a large hole in the ground. The peels back the sheet metal to look in the hole and sees…

This is where the movie’s suspense kicks in. And, it is the part of the movie that works best. The scenes leading up to Michele’s discovery and the scenes immediate after are incredible. Director Gabriele Salvatores expertly builds the suspense by giving us only glimpses of what is in the hole. Michele even leaves after a quick glance, which gives Salvatores a chance to draw out the anticipation.

After Michele discovers what’s in the hole the movie shifts from tight suspense into a mystery. Not to reveal too much here, but ultimately the movie is about a kidnapping. Michele tires to figure out who in his tiny village is involved. Is there anyone he can trust and if so, who?

Emperor Palpatine, the early years.

The movie does not work as well as a mystery. Any mystery elements unravel very quickly and aren’t drawn out. As such the suspense that Salvatores expertly built in the early goings of the movie wanes. As the suspense wanes, so does the viewer’s attention.

Not only does the mystery unravel quickly, but it is generic to boot. Even calling it a mystery is an overuse of the word, as there isn’t much to it. The viewer will easily tell who is involved with the kidnapping and who Michele shouldn’t confide in.

Whereas the mystery might be generic, emotionally the movie reaches its viewers. The relationship that develops between Michele and the kidnapped boy is riveting. You feel for both of them – one helpless and the other trying to figure out what to do. You can feel the innocence of Michele’s youth slipping away with each scene.

By the time it wraps up, I end up agreeing with the movie’s title: I’m Not Scared. And that is unfortunate. It had a lot going for it in the beginning. It created a spooky milieu and then had some very suspenseful moments. Then it faltered in a halfhearted mystery before really connecting on a solid emotional level.

Seriously people! Someone give Corey Feldman a job!

Was it good? Do I recommend it? I think I can sum it up by saying “It’s worth seeing.”

7.5 out of 10

The Look

The movie looks good. It doesn’t look great, but it looks good. There is nothing that makes you take notice in either a positive or negative way.

5 out of 10

Add another 78 helicopters and you have a money shot worthy of Michael Bay.

The Noise

The disc sounds great. The 5.1 is really noticeable. Especially well done are the small sound effects that would get lost otherwise. For instance, there are a few scenes of Michele walking through the fields, and the sound of him sweeping his hands through the stalks is perfect. It is a small thing, but it really brings out the sound on the disc.

8 out of 10

The Goodies

None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Cero. Nothing.

0 out of 10

“You’re poker face is hard to read. It would be easier if we had actual cards to play with. Never mind, I’ll see your tomato and I’ll raise you a salt shaker."

The Artwork

The artwork works very well. We get mysterious floating eyes above the title and a shrouded figure below it. I would have picked this movie off the shelf based on the artwork alone.

8 out of 10

Overall 5.7 out of 10