January 3, 2010

Review: Case 39 (2010)

"Though it's no Orphan, Case 39 actually manages to hold its own in the evil kid category..."

Cast Members of Note- Renee Zellweger, Bradley Cooper, Jodelle Ferland, Kerry O'Malley, Callum Keith Rennie, and the awesome Ian McShane.

Poor little Lilith; her parents hate her and all she wants to do is be loved. They neglect her, tell her they want to send her to Hell, and they even go so far as to shove her in the oven and try to bake her to death. That poor little thing! She's so cute that I can't imagine... Wait a minute. Her name is Lilith, right? Okay. I get it now.

See you in hell, sweetheart.
Along comes the chick from Jerry Maguire with her puckered face to save the day. She's a Social Worker with a heart of gold, who decides that taking sweet little Lilith in is a great idea, despite all of the screaming hints to the contrary telling her that she shouldn't. Coincidentally, everyone she knows and loves start succumbing to very bizarre and violent deaths. That's odd, huh?

Fire... Kill. It. With. Fire.
When Lilith's true nature is revealed, it's Pucker-faced Foster Mom vs. Hellspawn in a battle of cunning and guile. Who will win? Who will lose? How many people will be afraid to be foster parents after watching this movie? I won't spoil what comes next here, but suffice it to say that Pedicide is sometimes not only necessary, but completely understandable. Also, fire. Kill it with it.

No, no, no. Not a knife. Fire! Haven't you been listening to me?!?
I was totally surprised at how much I liked this movie. Don't get me wrong, I didn't love it to death, and watching prune-faced Renee Zellweger for too long makes me more than moody, but all in all I think they pulled off what they intended with this one. Fairly creepy, pretty interesting, and solidly engaging... that about sums it up. Some of it felt a bit trite, but for the most part it worked. I liked the Demonic Kid angle as opposed to just an insane tyke running around with a knife or something. Dare I say it was refreshing?

Though I'm not a big fan of Zellweger at all, the rest of the cast did a great job. Most notably Bradley Cooper, who is always solid to watch, and little Jodelle Ferland, who did a pretty good job of keeping me unsettled through the whole thing.

I'd be remiss not to mention how awesome Ian McShane is as well. I love that British bad-ass to death, as he just oozes machismo and chews scenery. If you don't agree that he rules, I dare you to tell him that to his face.

He will kick your ass.
I'm sorry, but as much of a bleeding heart as I can be, there's no way I'm taking in some creepy little urchin whose parents stuffed her into a an oven, let alone keeping her when my loved ones start dying mysteriously all around me after I do. That's just too much baggage for me.

Huge baggage.
Fuck the sleeping pills, give me a gun that fires horse tranquilizer-laced darts. That would be far more effective and surefire in my opinion. Then, you get a grenade, maybe some C4, use it, and THEN you set whatever is left on fire... That's how I'd handle things, but then again I always say go big or stay home. Then again, I stay home a lot.

Add caption
Insect attacks, attempted child baking, dog pack violence... there are more violence/disturbing acts in this one that there is gore. Still, it's all pretty effective.

What is she even doing?
No dice, although the ladies might like the fact that we get to see Bradley Cooper sans shirt. Yay?

Being a Foster Parent can be very dangerous. Also, kill it with fire.

...and there she is with that damn knife again!
Case 39 is a fairly solid effort for what it is; a familiar story with a fairly predictable and linear plot line. Still, the little Demon bastard was fairly creepy, and her antics were at times pretty awesome. Old squinty-eyes herself (Zellweger) was cringe-inducing as usual, but she had a pretty good cast around her that made me forgive the fact that she was there. Mostly.

I say check this one out when it hits DVD.


Case 39 is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.


Once upon a time, I used to think she was hot...


  1. This sounds good and will probably watch it, but I will throw Orphan out of my mind when I do to keep it open. I dig Cooper and McShane so the cast seems good.

    Also, I never really thought Renee was cute. When Jim Carrey's character in Me, Myself and Irene told her that she looked like she was sucking on a lemon, I think he visualized what it was about her I didn't feel appealing.

    Great wrap-up, M'hael!!

  2. Only the performances of Ian McShane and Jodelle Ferland made this watchable for me.

  3. Really? This was good? Renee "I ate a lemon" Zellwegger?

    I love killer kid movies but I don't think I can stand listening to her squeaky voice for an hour and a half.