Wednesday, October 6, 2010

2010 Geek Fright Fest: Case 39

Case 39 (2009)*
Rated R (for violence and language)

Directed by Christian Alvart

Renee Zellweger
Bradley Cooper
Ian McShane
Jodelle Ferland

I was pleasantly surprised by Case 39, especially after the release date was repeatedly bumped (usually an indicator of suckage). "Creepy kid" movies have a special place in my heart, and this one definitely delivers. (I started out holding on to Kris and by the end of the movie, he was holding on to me!)

Child services employee Emily Jenkins (Renee Zellweger) is overworked, but her boss insists she takes one more case: 10-year-old Lillith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland). Lillith shows signs of being abused and her parents seem to both loathe and fear her. Emily, herself a product of a damaged home, reaches out to Lillith and the two quickly become close. After the Sullivans' attempt to kill their daughter, they are sent to a psychiatric hospital and Lillith is placed with Emily while the state looks for an appropriate foster family. As Emily probes Lillith's past, she discovers more than she bargains for.

The casting was decent, but I am not the biggest fan of Zellweger, and I think the role could easily have gone to someone else without changing the character. Ferland (Silent Hill and "Kingdom Hospital"), on the other hand, was superb as Lillith and Bradley Cooper does a good job playing Emily's self-satisfied, smarmy psychologist friend.

The film relies mostly on jump scares, and while it doesn't have the most original plot, it's an entertaining and suspenseful flick. If you like scary movies, it's a good date night film and even if you don't catch it in theaters, it's worth watching on DVD.

Fright Rating: 3 gasps out of a possible 5

There are some fairly violent scenes and a lot of jump scares, so those who frighten easily should not watch this flick alone. It's Rated R and definitely not for kids.

*Editor's Note: As this is a film currently in theaters, I wanted to reveal as little as possible. This means that the review is less in depth than ones written about older films.

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