Case 39 (2010)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Director Christian Alvert has a certain stylish flair, but it's wasted on Case 39's frightless, unoriginal plot.


Movie Info

In CASE 39, family services social worker Emily Jenkins (Renée Zellweger) thinks she has seen it all... until she meets 10-year old Lilith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland) and the child's cruel and dangerous parents. Her worst fears are confirmed when the parents try to harm Lily, their only daughter. Frightened for her life, Emily enlists the help of Detective Mike Barron (Ian McShane) and takes Lily in while she continues the search for the perfect foster family. Just as it seems as though Lily is … More

Rating: R (for violence and terror, including disturbing images)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror
Directed By:
Written By: Ray Wright
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 4, 2011
Box Office: $13.2M
Runtime:
Paramount Studios - Official Site

Cast


as Emily Jenkins

as Lilith Sullivan

as Det. Mike Barron

as Doug Ames

as Edward Sullivan

as Margaret Sullivan

as Javier's Wife

as Custody Judge

as Plainclothes Cop

as Therapist

as Co-Worker

as Co-Worker

as Chief Psychiatrist

as Bus Driver

as Young Emily

as Emily's Mother

as Fire Marshall

as Police Sergeant

as News Anchor

as Coordinator

as Interviewer

as Doctor

as Barron's Wife

as Demon Person

as Mrs. Lynch

as Businessperson

as Young Cop

as Detention Center Cop

as Lead Guard
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Case 39

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Critic Reviews for Case 39

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (9)

It's a bummer when the audience is smarter than the protagonist.

Full Review… | October 7, 2010
Boston Globe
Top Critic

From a bevy of cheesy jolt scares (alarm clock! barking dog!) to the embarrassing sight of Zellweger and Ian McShane treating this Orphan-style B-movie silliness with grave seriousness, the film proves to be one hokey-horror riot.

Full Review… | October 6, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

By the time the killings start, it's clear that Ray Wright's screenplay is more interested in following formula than in breaking new ground.

Full Review… | October 5, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

A soulless amalgamation of several horror classics, and marks another dud in the career of Renee Zellweger.

Full Review… | March 5, 2014
Matt's Movie Reviews

Despite its initial premise showing promise, Case 39 turns out to be boring, predictable and nothing new.

Full Review… | November 9, 2013
We Got This Covered

The end of Zellweger as we've known her.

Full Review… | January 29, 2013
Movie Nation

Audience Reviews for Case 39

½

While a Zellweger fan (and she does well here) this story about innocent looking and acting DEMON CHILD! has been done before and better, and hoping and wishing for a new wrinkle here won't make it real. Ahh, well ... better luck next time.

ApeneckFletcher
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

three stars

YodaMasterJedi
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

Edward Sullivan: They say when you're born you're given your eternal soul. The part of you that lives on, lives again. Whatever evil she is,didn't come from us. It was already there. From the moment she came into being, she brought something with her. Something older, destructive. Soul of a demon. 

"Some cases should never be opened."

Not as terrible as I expected, but I expected the worst. Case 39 is still just recycled parts from better evil kid horror movies, like The Bad Seed and Orphan. It ends up playing like a more entertaining form of The Good Son. It also has a lot of things that just don't add up when examined closely, but that is the least of its problems. The biggest problem the film has is that its target audience is going to hate it and find it repetitive in the least. The target audience for this film are the people who enjoy the evil kid horror genre. And guess what; we've seen them all. So this isn't going to cut it. When you try to make a movie like this, you have to come up with something new, strange, and terrifying to add to the formula. If you can't, the result will be a failure, like Case 39.

The sweetness of the little girl is played off terribly. I don't know if that is a result of her acting skills or bad writing. It may just be a combination of the two. To be honest though, the movie does have a decent start. It all goes downhill quickly though, because the writing is terrible and stuff just doesn't add up. Why would the little girl be afraid of telling the social workers about her situation because the father gives her a nasty look? She's the evil one. I know we aren't supposed to know that then, but damn have some foresight in your fucking script. 

There is some entertainment value in the movies awfulness. I can say I was never bored by the movie. I can also say that a lot of the entertainment I got from it came from me laughing at the ridiculousness of some of the scenes. I could talk about everything I hated in the movie, but that would take all day. Let's just leave it by saying it's bad. Maybe if you have never seen another movie in the sub genre, you will find it intriguing; but if you have, I would suggest skipping it.

blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Case 39 Quotes

– Submitted by Rawballs B (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Srikar D (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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