Movie Summary of Case 39 by Michael The Moviegoer.
CASE 39 = ***
The mystery of “Case 39” isn’t in the movie. It’s the story of why a horror film starring Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper that was filmed in 2006 is first opening in October 2010. Only because the film found unlikely success as a commercial release in Spain has Paramount decided to open it here now. Odd, considering the horror genre is a money-maker for similar films that don’t even have big stars, let alone an Academy Award winner. What was Paramount afraid of?
Keeping a film with high-profile stars out of release is usually a red-flag signifying that something is wrong with it. Preventing critics from seeing it in press screenings prior to release just gives everyone a license to hate it. But, truth be told, it’s really not that bad. It’s just a lot of scary stupid fun.
Renee Zellweger works for child services and the child assigned to her as case number 39 is a 12-year old girl played wickedly by Jodelle Ferland. Once it becomes obvious that she has the devil inside her (think Damien’s sister), most movies would turn to trying to save the girl by exorcising her. Not “Case 39”. This movie can’t be bothered with explanations or motivations. Why is she possessed? Can she be saved? Who cares?
That lack of logic makes the film an easy target for criticism. But as a popcorn horror flick requiring little if any brain power on our part, I found it to be entertaining in a stupid kind of way. Look, at least I was never bored by it.
I sound like I’m making apologies for liking this film. But the producers really got their money’s worth by hiring Zellweger. Her performance is better than the material deserves. She lifts the quality of this film to a higher level that makes us understand why she has an Oscar at home.
DVD Double Feature:
The classic ‘original’ little-girl-possessed horror film is 1973’s “The Exorcist”. Linda Blair plays the demonic entity, Ellen Burstyn plays her distraught mother, and the great Max Von Sydow is the exorcist. Director William Friedkin’s original film has often been copied, but never been equalled.
Michael The Moviegoer