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Case 39
BLU-RAY disk
Jan 24, 2011 By: Jason Adams
Case 39 order download
Director:
Christian Alvart

Actors:
Renee Zellweger
Bradley Cooper
Ian McShane

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A caring social worker adopts a young girl who was nearly murdered by her parents, only to discover that perhaps mom and dad werent so crazy after all.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
For a movie that was continually pushed back for three years before a quick and dirty release, CASE 39 actually wasnt as bad as youd expect. For the most part, it doesnt really do anything wrong; it just doesnt do anything particularly good. Note for note, its on par with pretty much every entry in the evil little kid genre, similar to recent offerings like ORPHAN and JOSHUA, as well as classic examples like THE GOOD SON or THE OMEN. The child acts creepy. Some people believe it, others dont. Theres dependence on jump scares, loud noises, and supernatural stuff thats more silly than it is scary. (You know, the usual horror movie shtick.)

Oscar winner Renee Zellweger is expectedly blah as the heroine. When Zellweger first came on the scene in JERRY MAGUIRE, she had a certain unassuming quality and likable innocence about her, something that shes definitely lost after years of stardom. Here shes just plain not interesting to watch and her character is such a cardboard cutout you dont care if she gets her life ruined by an 8 year old hellspawn. Deadwood star Ian McShane does what he can in a thankless role, as does Bradley Cooper, who is only in a handful of scenes and not given much to do until his final moments. (Thats not a spoiler if you saw the previews and have ever seen a horror movie before.) Jodelle Ferland, who you might recognize from SILENT HILL, is probably the only one actually trying as the decidedly evil Lilith and she pulls off the dark stuff pretty well.

Like many horror movies, CASE 39 cant sustain what little goodwill it has for the entire runtime and runs out of steam before by the final act. As soon as things finally start getting explained, the movie transitions in to dumb territory. Liliths origins and powers are never explained very well and seem to waver back and forth between whatever is more convenient to the plot and/or current action beat. And the final sequence will leave your eyes rolling with the credits.
THE EXTRAS
Considering they dumped the movie, Paramount actually put a decent amount of effort in to the Blu-Ray.

Deleted Scenes (30:06): With over half an hours worth of material, theres quite a bit more to this story apparently. Theres more character development between pretty much everyone; Emily, Doug, and even Lilith and her parents. And theres even an alternate, darker ending. Im not saying this was a great movie destroyed in the editing process, as none of this really fixes the tired story and execution, but it does show that everyone tried a little harder than it seemed.

Inside CASE 39 (8:07): A standard Making Of featurette with interviews and plenty of self-serving praise by everyone.

Turning Up the Heat on the Chill Factor (4:24): A look at the actress who played Liliths mom and the long make up process to turn her in to a burn victim.

Inside the Hornet's Nest (3:02): Want to know how to make CG insects come out of Bradley Coopers orifices? Youre in luck!

Playing with Fire (4:26): A look at the controlled manner in which the burning house sequence was pulled off, with Zellweger doing a lot of the stunts herself.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
CASE 39 is by the numbers in terms of story, scares and pretty much everything else youd expect from an evil child movie. While its not as awful as a film that sat on the shelf for 3 years could be, couldve been worse isnt exactly a ringing endorsement.

Extra Tidbit: Hit Girl herself Chloe Moretz was almost cast as Lilith.
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