Case 39 2009 Movie Scene Renée Zellweger as Emily Jenkins and Jodelle Ferland as Lilith Sullivan holding hands

Case 39 [2009]

Another demonic child flick, I mean, come on! How many of these fuckers are out there? So, Case 39 is your standard-issue mainstream horror movie involving a creepy kid up to no good. After The Omen, we have seen a bunch of these flicks, especially in recent years. Some were good, some were bad, but all of them did not cross the line. And the line is scenes of violence involving children. This is the first one where have we have seen glimpses of what could be something new and original. The “oven” scene is pretty brutal and I was sold as soon as I saw it.

However, Case 39 with its unoriginal story could not soar to the heights director Christian Alvart set his eye on. The stylish and very engaging camera-work and great pacing could not help the cliched basic plot. I mean, the girl in question is called Lillith, how could she not be evil incarnate? The acting is quite good and I really liked young Jodelle Ferland as Lillith. Renee was pretty solid for a role quite different than her usual repertoire and McShane added a sense of authenticity to the mix.

Emily Jenkins is a social worker and her latest case is proving to be an incredibly difficult one. She’s investigating alleged abuse in the Sullivan family and trying to rescue Lillith, a ten-year-old girl just trying to stay alive. However, things will soon take a turn for the worse…

One of the things I liked here was the storytelling along with a pretty suspenseful atmosphere. There are a couple of great jump scares and this overall sense of looming danger. The movie does get a bit melodramatic at times but that’s to be expected. With the recent release of The Orphan, everyone is comparing these two flicks. I think that they are about the same quality, offering different approaches to the same subject. So, if you liked Case 39, that could be your next movie. And if you’re looking for a third movie, check out Let Me In starring Chloë Grace Moretz.

Director: Christian Alvart

Writer: Ray Wright

Cast: Renée Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland, Ian McShane, Kerry O’Malley, Callum Keith Rennie

Fun Stuff: Although shot in 2006, it took three years for this movie to make its way to the big screen.


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