Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CASE 39

Renee Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland, Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper


"Some cases should never be opened."


HBO



Last night, an irritating case of insomnia prompted me to flip through TV channels. I came across this psychological thriller on HBO and decided to watch it. Never mind that it was a horror film, a genre I try to avoid because I scare easily. Well you might blame it on the insomnia but interestingly enough I finished it in its entirety.

The film follows social worker Emily Jenkins (Renee Zellweger) as she takes on the case of a young girl named Lilith (Jodelle Ferland) who's being abused by her parents. Emily takes pity on the 10 year old so she adopts her temporarily while she is put on the adoption list. But soon enough, problems crop us as it becomes clear that little Lilith isn't quite as wholesome and innocent as she appears.

The horrific nature of the film's plot doesn't make itself completely evident until around the halfway mark with a handful of gory thriller elements. Its slow pace becomes more and more problematic though as time progresses. Loopholes in the plot abound as predictability sets in.

Yet the truth is that as demonic children movies go, it's really not bad in the creepiness factor. The believable acting of the cast makes it seem a little better than your average creepy kid possessed by the devil films. Not much, but a little. Plus, Jodelle Ferland's Lilith is perhaps the creepiest demon child ever to grace the screen and if she’s not, she’s certainly in the running.

Still, "Case 39" despite all its flaws is still a perfectly watchable kid-from-hell chiller. My interest was piqued with the film which is as much as you can reasonably expect from this kind of picture. It was certainly more than I expected. It kept me on the edge of my bed but it certainly didn't relieve me of my insomnia! How can you sleep after watching so much evil emanate from a young child? Geez!

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