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|Index||150 reviews in total|
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.
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.
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 Renée 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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a movie we have seen before just written in different ways. A girl is suspected of being abused and the case worker takes a very personal interest in her. When the parents are removed from the situation, the girl begs for the love of the social worker, which she gets. Renee Zellweger does a decent job in this movie. I would not call it a horror movie. It is suspenseful, but nothing I thought was overly horrific. The little girl does a brilliant job playing the victim. Predictable, the social worker takes this child into her home pending placement elsewhere and finds that this little girl is not quite what she seems. She seeks out different methods to deal with the problem, but it ultimately ends up just like I thought it would. Not the worst movie ever made.
The dedicated social assistant of child service Emily Jenkins (Renée
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")
I found it somewhat difficult to rate this film in all honesty. Some
elements are surprisingly good, while others are just cliché'd and
melodramatic. I enjoyed it overall and would have given it an 8/9 had
there not been various glaring inconsistencies that were impossible for
me to ignore. I've never been one to overly obsess about plot holes or
implausibilities, but at times Case 39 doesn't even bother to follow
the rules that it's made for itself.
Renee Zellweger plays Emily, a child protective services worker, who ultimately saves a 10 year old girl, Lilly from her abusive parents. She takes a maternal interest in Lilly but problems arise shortly after having removed the girl from her home. At this point, even if you haven't seen the trailer (I didn't), you can guess where the story is headed. This is not a problem because it works in the films favor. The tension and buildup are excellent as we wait for Renee to catch up to where we are. We know what's going to happen and so it creates an uneasiness that stays with us throughout the entirety of the film. There are some genuinely creepy moments ( I think I counted 3), and a host of other cheap "jumpy" scenes that sometimes work and sometimes don't. The movie managed to catch me off guard a couple times, and seeing as how I'm a huge horror buff, I'd say that's impressive. More times than not, I can anticipate a scare, but there were some scenes that had me on edge.
The acting is adequate amongst all the principal characters, the direction choppy in places, the look of the film is beautiful. Once again I just had a problem with the factors that didn't add up. For instance, if a character is what the film says it is, then why can't it get itself out of the situation that occurs at the end of the film? By definition of what this character is, the laws that confine "normal" people shouldn't apply to it, right? Also the explanation for what "it" wants is very unclear and flimsy at best. Without a clear understanding of the motivation, without an answer to "WHY?", it left me feeling a little unstable about the whole story.
All in all, it's still a great way to spend a couple hours if you can spare them. I consider it money well spent. If nothing else, you will definitely be entertained.
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
When I watch a movie my main scale is: Did this movie entertain me? And "Case 39" definitely did. I am not really a fan of creepy movies, but I thought that the cast was good, so gave it a chance and I am glad that I did it. The script is well done, although it is not to difficult to imagine what will happen next. Yes you can predict stuff that happens, but I did not. I was involved in the story, was curious and could just enjoy the creepy atmosphere and the development of the two main characters, Lilli and Emily. The dialogs were fine, the acting believable. It is well crafted and for me, as I have mentioned before, great entertainment and I have enjoyed every minute. Well done, that is how movies should be done.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie, as a horror movie, delivers what it promises, which is
scaring people. It is however not without its flaws.
As an above reviewer already stated Renee Zellweger is not a great actress for these types of movies, but it's not something that should bother you during the duration of the movie.
Another flaw is the use of what I tend to call gratuitous scares. What do I mean by that you may ask. These are scares that are provoked by suddenly letting a barking dog jump against a window when the main character is standing there or by letting a coworker pop up next to the protagonist when she's sitting down. However effective they may be, they are not scares relevant to the story and they tend to irritate me because they take the focus of the main story, mostly because the main story has little volume.
This is lucky not the case here. The acting of the "evil" by the little girl is very well done. If I had a child before me like that, I'm sure I wouldn't be too comfortable by him/her.
***SPOILER*** For the rest part the story is good enough to keep you going although I would have preferred a non Hollywoodian ending because that would have been more "realistic" if the girl was really possessed by an ancient demon. ***SPOILER***
But all in all a good movie to spend your evening on.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Horror movie subjects, like celebrity deaths and buses, come in threes.
Thus, trailing behind the latest rash of 'Bad Seed' pictures 'The
Unborn' and 'Orphan' like some sulky teenager on a family holiday,
comes the Renée Zellweger-starring Case 39 - another apparent
anti-adoption screed from the director of 'Pandorum'. Clearly, Philip
Larkin got it back to front, and Cyril Connolly was onto something:
they screw you up, kids, especially other people's kids, while that
pram in the hall almost certainly contains 57 varieties of pain. And
little girls, of course, are absolutely terrifying. That's why Stanley
Kubrick used not one but two of them in 'The Shining.'
The latest threat to homeland security is sad-eyed moppet Lillith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland). Despite whimpering that her hollow-eyed, crucifix-clasping parents "talk about sending me to Hell", Lillith's lank black hair is scraped back and tucked behind her ears, which everyone knows is movie shorthand for 'sneaky 'n' weird'. She also tilts her head sideways when she speaks, which even brain-damaged pitbulls dimly appreciate is the internationally-recognised symbol for 'run, run like the wind'. Now you mention it, she also shares a name with Frasier Crane's ex-wife, in turn named after a Hebrew storm demon associated with death, darkness and vengeance. All of which is lost on lentils-for-brains social worker Emily Jenkins (Renée Zellweger), who hauls her out of the kitchen oven after her folks attempt to bake her alive.
In a move even the filmmakers realise stretches credibility to twanging point, Emily temporarily adopts Lillith while she waits to be re-housed with foster parents who won't mistake her for a birthday cake. Unfortunately for Emily, what Lillith wants, Lillith gets. And what she really wants right now is an ice cream. Not just today, every day. See, this witchy cuckoo also possesses the ability to make people see and experience their own worst fears. So you'd better hurry up with that 99 Flake.
Before the first hour's up, Em's other cases and colleagues are slaughtering their slumbering parents with a tyre iron or being pestered to death by a plague of CGI hornets, vomited out of their every orifice. Meanwhile Em's barricading herself in her bedroom every night and attempting to burn her own house down, with the satanic little charge inside. "A damaged, deceitful, manipulative child is *not* a demon," insists grizzled, perma-tanned detective Mike Barron (Ian McShane). But can Emily convince her Barron knight that Lillith has got the very devil in her?
It sure seems as if Hollywood likes kicking foster kids under the table, judging by the haste with which Case 39 follows the controversial Orphan into the multiplexes. Or maybe the movie business has just put its finger on a hot topic of the day: horror movies are always monkeying around with contemporary fears and prejudices (it makes their case stronger). But is the concept of adoption actually becoming anathema to North Americans?
This July the Washington Post reported that the number of foster children being adopted in D.C. was "falling precipitously". And if a former Child and Family Services Agency staffer suggested "difficult cases" (over-twelves; siblings who didn't want to be separated) as possible causes, a pro-bono lawyer claimed "the District frequently reduces the annual subsidy" for those deciding to adopt their foster children. Could there be some kind of 'anti-adoption conspiracy' at work?
No, just plain old economics: originally slated for release in August 2008, then subsequently held back twice, Case 39 has been forlornly gathering cobwebs in the proverbial filing cabinet for over a year. Understandably so - it's terrible. We'd be embarrassed too. Former Oscar-winner Zellweger hasn't made a decent feature in years, and this is no trend-bucker. So it's not hard to figure out that when its producers saw Orphan cleaning up, thanks in part to the hype accrued via some knee-jerk lobbying (and - what a gift - a letter to Warner Brothers by concerned senators and congressmen who predictably hadn't even seen the movie in question), they quickly threw their own killer kid flick out with the trash. (Or rather they haven't - when this review was first written, Case 39 was going to be released any minute. Now, they've put it back AGAIN, for around the 6th time. Probably waiting to see how well Christian Alvart's Pandorum does first. Prediction: that'll bomb too. So, fellas, just how long do you think you can keep this up for?)
And make no mistake, Case 39 is diabolical; a laughable, wooden, hideously derivative pile of steaming demon poo. Horror films aren't exactly dainty when it comes to relieving other movies of their valuables, but Case 39 just ram-raids them out of the store: hell hounds (not to mention an entire premise) swiped from 'The Omen'; buckling, banging doors half-inched from 'The Haunting'; demonic possessions (and a friendly cop) purloined from 'The Exorcist'; a blight of stripey insects lifted from 'Candyman'; and accursed phone calls filched from J-Horror 'One Missed Call.'
Case 39 also asks for any number of other offences to be taken into consideration. While judging by the presence of Ian McShane and Adrian Lester, it has also pilfered its cast (hilariously and self-defeatingly billed in 'order of prominence') from a cosy BBC Sunday teatime drama. Bless our British actors all, but that's not a line-up that immediately inspires confidence in a horror movie: Bridget Jones and Lovejoy, together at last.
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