Master P is a business man. I realize that. He’s never been accused of artistic integrity. But Don’t Be Scared (phonetically, Don’t Be Scurred) may be an all-time low. I hope that he saw it as strictly a money-making venture to capitalize on the whole slasher craze, because if he truly poured any amount of his heart and soul into this project, he might be the least talented filmmaker alive. Just thinking about writing a review for this movie gave me a headache. Accurately representing the shittiness that is Don’t Be Scared almost certainly requires something more along the lines of a novel. (And of course, it would be a pretty shitty novel.) In the spirit of positive thinking, though, I’ll focus on the pros first:
- It’s only 45 minutes long.
- All other horror moviemakers should be glad that films this bad exist, so they can rebuff any criticism with, “Well, at least it’s not as bad as Don’t Be Scared.”
- First, you have to buy the nearly 40-year-old Master P as a college student, which is only slightly more ridiculous than buying his mumbly delivery as acting.
- The plot is like something written by a child who wears a helmet during P.E. class. It’s a clumsy hybrid of Scream (killer in a black robe) and I Know What You Did Last Summer (revenge for a covered-up death; in this case, a black guy who’s killed by some racist frat boys returns from the grave), with, for God knows what reason, the ghost of a little girl thrown in. She appears for 30 seconds, delivers two lines that have nothing to do with the story, and disappears.
- I understand that Lil’ Romeo’s inability to act has nepotistic roots, but based on the rest of the cast’s acting talent, you have to wonder if Master P is allergic to talent. Even the extras are awful; they constantly gawk and smile at the camera like they’re in the background of an Eyewitness News report.
- There are, God help us, attempts at “humor”: namely, an Asian dude with cornrows who wants to be “down” and a Michael Jackson impersonator who wants to fondle kids. Master P, comedy genius!
- There are entire scenes of dialogue that are drowned out by generic No Limit hip-hop music. It’s a tough call to vote this a “con”.
- Even at 45 minutes, it could still do with some editing. There are seemingly endless, unedited scenes of party people dancing, plus a good seven minutes of footage from some cheesy amusement park haunted house attraction that the filmmakers use to pad the film. Other scenes end with the actors looking around like they’re waiting for the director (Master P, natch) to yell “Cut!” And the opening credits should read, “Special Appearance by: the boom mike.”
- I’ve seen more gore, suspense, and nudity in episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. These have got to be some of the lamest kills in modern horror history. When one guy is drowned in a toilet, he ends up with blood all over his face…Eh? Was the toilet filled with marinara sauce? And when a gal is taking a shower (sorry, no skin), the killer offs her by…locking the shower door??? “Help! I’m pruning to death!”
- The characters are flat, ridiculous caricatures. All the white women are horny party girls, all the white guys are racists and Master P is the king of this fantasy land. Every girl wants to have sex with him, and every guy is intimidated by him. One scene has the dudes at the party sizing him up: “I dunno, Brad, he looks pretty big. He looks like he can handle himself pretty well,” says one. “He looks like he’s straight from the hood or something,” adds another.
- It just doesn’t make sense: one girl has blood on her feet before she gets killed; little Tommy just happens to have a “seance ring” in his closet to conjure ghosts; the kids somehow conjure Michael Jackson (yeah, you heard me), even though he’s still alive; and what’s with that stupid blue-faced little girl ghost?!?
- Some people actually survive.
Don’t Be Scared is an awe-inspiring embarrassment of awfulness, and while I doubt Master P is actually embarrassed by it, I would respect him more if he were.