Case 39 (2009)

Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Renée Zellweger, Ian McShane, Jodelle Ferland, Bradley Cooper
A social worker fights to save a girl from her abusive parents, only to discover that the situation is more dangerous than she ever expected.
Director Christian Alvert has a certain stylish flair, but it's wasted on Case 39's frightless, unoriginal plot.
  • Paramount Studios Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 01 Oct 2010 Released:
  • 04 Jan 2011 DVD Release:
  • $13.2M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Nothing great or very memorable, but entertaining7/10
Case 39 would have been a bit predictable even if the trailer had not revealed the mystery behind its story.For better or for worse, the story is an homogeneous combination of the well known elements we have seen on many movies which show kids involved on paranormal events.However, despite its lack of innovation, I had a good time watching Case 39, thanks to Christian Alvart's concise and dynamic direction and the competent performances from Renee Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland and Callum Keith Rennie.

There are various elements in the screenplay we have seen in other movies.However, even though the story lacks of originality, Case 39 is entertaining, because Alvart created a good rhythm and some solid moments of tension.What is more, the story is well structured.

Zellweger made her return to horror with Case 39 after 15 years (since her unworthy appearance on the atrocious The Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre).In recent years, she has created a very different image, but her performance in Case 39 feels realistic and effective.Ferland creates a good aura of threaten with her role; I liked not to see her trying to apparent evilness, because that is the point where almost all the child actors I have seen in the past in similar movies fail.And even though he has short screen-time, Rennie brings a good level of intensity to his character.As for the rest of the actors, they feel a bit bland.

In summary, Case 39 is nothing extraordinary or highly memorable; but I think it is effective for having a good time, and I recommend it because of that.
Scary Horror Film that Deserved a Better and Darker Ending7/10
The dedicated social assistant of child service Emily Jenkins (Renee Zellweger) has a huge backlog of cases of abused children to take care. However, her chief Wayne (Adrian Lester) delivers two more cases for her and Emily heads to interview the family of Lilith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland), the young abused daughter of Edward Sullivan (Callum Keith Rennie) and Margaret Sullivan (Kerry O'Malley). Emily finds the parents very weird persons and forces Wayne to summon them for additional interviews. Emily connects to the sweet Lilith and during the night, she feels that the girl would be in danger and together with Detective Barron (Ian McShane), they invade the Sullivan's house and find the couple trying to burn Lilith inside the oven. Lilith is sent to a child care and she asks Emily to adopt her. Emily requests to take care of Lilith and the girl moves to her house. Sooner Emily learns that Lilith is not as innocent as she seems to be.

"Case 39" is a scary horror film with great screenplay and performances. The bleak story begins in the direction of a drama, and out of the blue shifts to a suspenseful psychological horror film as has some common aspects with "Orphan". The end is not bad with the victory of the good, but this film deserved a better and darker ending. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Caso 39" ("Case 39")
Actually pretty good.7/10
I checked this movie out after watching a trailer online and I gotta say, it delivered. It was a nice little surprise for this major horror fan. It didn't rely on the "jump scare" which so many horror movies depend on lately, although it had a few. It created a very creepy atmosphere that stayed til the very end. Given, this movie could've supported better acting (I'm looking at you, Renee) and directing but if you're looking to be entertained and a little creeped out for 90 minutes then check it out. It runs in the tradition of movies like "The Reaping" and "Orphan" where the child in the movie makes you feel a little uneasy the entire time. Defiitely one of the better straight to DVD movies in awhile. If you are a horror fan then this movie should put an evil lil grin on your bloody face. However, if you stray more towards romcoms and drama then go rent Love Actually or some other random terrible movie.
A suspenseful film, full of threat and uncertainty5/10
This film is about a social worker taking a young girl into her home, as the girl's parents tried to kill her.

Though Renee Zellweger is not particularly convincing as a social worker, she conveys her feeling of threat very well, making her stressed out character vivid. The plot is good, as at first it makes you feel so sympathetic and sorry for the girl, then it slowly prepares you for something entirely different. The story is so engaging and scary, that I wanted to see more of what's going to happen, yet I wanted to see less because it's scary. "Case 39" is successful in creating a suspenseful atmosphere, full of threat and uncertainty. I don't know why "Case 39" is having trouble getting distribution and and a release date, as I find it a very scary horror film.
loved it9/10
After having been let down by many films recently this, and then newly released Triangle, have been a welcome release.

Everything in Case 39 is at least very good. Renne Zellweger is excellent as the empathic, Emily Jenkins. Really perfectly cast for the role and gives the film an underlying security, which for me at least, was needed. The young actress,Jodelle Ferland, is generally really good and at times, show stealing. She is in fact superb as the rather troubled youngster.. The chemistry between the two leads is what compliments what is a rather twisted but truly fantastic story.

The story paces itself perfectly and draws you into its sphere of horror with a soft hand and kicks you out with a firm smack at the end. The only sad thing is a lack of replay value. I just wish i could go back and watch it for the first time all over again..

Chilling and enchanting horror film, a must see