A/V Room









I'm Not Scared - Preview & US reaction

Preview by: Jack Foley

AN ITALIAN film, about a young boy's attempt to unravel a mystery, after he discovers that another boy is being held captive underneath an abandoned house, is going down a storm in America, where critics are urging people to go and see it.

I'm Not Scared is directed by acclaimed film-maker, Gabriele Salvatores, of Mediterraneo fame, and is set in the Italian countryside, in 1978.

Giuseppe Cristiano stars as 10-year-old Michele, who finds something sinister lurking under the surface of his idyllic Summer.

While the days in his remote southern Italian village are filled with the familiar routines of childhood, a chance discovery leads to a shocking revelation.

Now, suddenly beyond the point-of no-return, Michele digs further to find that even his own parents may be behind what's quickly becoming the country's most nefarious crime.

The premise sounds intriguing enough, but the response from America has been overwhelmingly positive.

Needless to say, based on the response it has already drawn, we shall be keeping our eyes peeled for its UK release date.

The film was distributed, in America, through Miramax and was written for the screen by Niccolo Ammaniti and Francesca Marciano.


US reaction

Entertainment Weekly, for example, awarded it a B+ and wrote that it 'delicately emphasizes the contrast between surface innocence and subterranean danger'. It added that 'with a taste for dark lyricism, the director delicately emphasizes the contrast between surface innocence and subterranean danger, and between grown-up secrets and boyhood bravery'.

While the New York Daily News wrote that 'the film's beauty belies the anxiety that runs through it'.

The New York Times felt that 'although this visually dazzling movie from Italy takes on many of the characteristics of a conventional thriller, it refuses to go for cheap, vicious shocks'.

And the New York Post opined that 'this satisfying adaptation of a popular novel is mostly an artistic reflection on youthful loss of innocence'.

USA Today congratulated it for 'powerfully and palpably capturing the isolation, confusion and unnameable fears of childhood'.

The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, wrote that 'with a graceful confidence Salvatores has made a movie in which good and evil flow into each other as easily as day and night'.

While Rolling Stone referred to it as 'a fierce, frightening and deeply moving study of childhood'.

Reeling Reviews added that 'Salvatores has made a film reminiscent of Spanish masterpiece, The Spirit of the Beehive'.

While Film Journal International concludes this round-up, by stating that the film 'offers a startling mix of genres: a memory piece drenched in nostalgia for a lost childhood, clothed in the form of a thriller that grabs you by the throat'.


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