Im Not Scared, No tengo miedo
Secrets. Betrayal. Murder. Who can you trust when everyones a suspect?
Running Time: 108 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15
Country: Spain, Italy, United Kingdom
Southern Italy, 1978, and some young carefree scamps are spending their summer holi-bobs cycling around on their bikes, racing through picturesque wheat fields, and challenging girlies to show their lady-bits. Theyre happier than pigs in plopsy, the whole lot of them. But, for one member of the gang nine-year-old Michele (Giuseppe Cristiano) thats all about to change.
While exploring an old abandoned house, Michele discovers a trap door. He opens it up, takes a peek inside, and despite the title of the film almost soils himself in terror when he sees a soap-dodging urchin squinting back up at him. Who is the kid under the floor? And what is he doing there? Well, it turns out hes called Filippo (Mattia Di Perro) and, a little bizarrely, he thinks hes dead.
Eventually, the pair form a strong friendship, and Michele takes to returning every day to feed, water and even play with his pasty-faced new pal. Fair enough, but given the circumstances youd think Michele might be a bit more pro-active with his discovery: he doesnt tell anyone (not even his parents), he doesnt ask Filippo who he is or why hes there, and it takes him ages to even consider attempting to help him escape. Sure, hes only a little fellah, and chances are hes never come across a chained-up cave child before (I know I certainly havent) – but its also clear that hes far from stupid, so his inexplicable lack of either action or curiosity leaves the whole thing feeling more than a little far-fetched.
The film works though, not because the plot is anything special (or even particularly credible), but because the acting is excellent, Gabriele Salvatores direction is solid, and the gimmick of showing the tale through a childs eyes adds a level of depth which otherwise wouldnt exist.
As the plot progresses, it moves from scenic coming-of-age drama to effective thriller, with Filippos story becoming clearer and Michele getting caught up in a web of low-budget crime and intrigue. It makes for absorbing viewing, and its a film Id happily watch again I only wish it didnt have so many more questions than answers.
It's Got: Micheles mum being played by Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, best known as that woman from A Walk in the Clouds.
It Needs: A lead character with a tad more initiative.
DVD Extras Niente. DVD Version reviewed: Im Not Scared DVD Extras Rating: 0/10
Alternatives:The Flight of the Innocent
Switch off the part of your brain that controls all sense of logic and youll find this an intriguing, mysterious and ultimately enjoyable little film.