Case 39

Metascore
25

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 63 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In Case 39, family services social worker Emily Jenkins thinks she has seen it all... until she meets 10-year old Lilith Sullivan 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,In Case 39, family services social worker Emily Jenkins thinks she has seen it all... until she meets 10-year old Lilith Sullivan 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 and takes Lily in while she continues the search for the perfect foster family. Just as it seems as though Lily is on her way to a more loving home, under the guidance of Emily and psychiatrist, dark forces surrounding this young girl come to light and, little do they know, their attempts to protect her will only bring on greater horror. (Paramount Vantage) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 15
  2. Negative: 12 out of 15
  1. 70
    There is enough lurid, ludicrous subtext in the material to keep fans of such things happy. As trash, this is top of the line.
  2. Radiating a distinctly retro vibe, this throwaway thriller from the German director Christian Alvart tosses a bone to Renée Zellweger, who chews it to a nub as Emily Jenkins, a harried social worker.
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    40
    Manages to be both very silly and highly forgettable. Only for those who collect killer-children films.
  4. 30
    Has there ever been a more inept trio of big-city caseworkers? Go ahead, Lilith. Unleash the hounds.
  5. One can't help experiencing the same dread about the exhausting flood of lackluster horror films that swamp our screens and, as Case 39 unfolds, realizing we're enduring one more.
  6. Director Christian Alvart ("Pandorum") is unable to invest much stylization into the proceedings, and Ray Wright's by-the-book screenplay only serves as a reminder of the innumerable demon-child movies that have preceded this one.
  7. Reviewed by: Leigh Paatsch
    12
    This movie is so self- combustingly bad it could never be good. But it's damn great fun to watch the thing go up in flames anyway.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 19
  2. Negative: 7 out of 19
  1. Jan 26, 2011
    10
    We've watched a few stinkers lately but this one is a great movie. The plot had enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and I think weWe've watched a few stinkers lately but this one is a great movie. The plot had enough twists and turns to keep you guessing and I think we all know a kid with the potential... Expand
  2. Feb 10, 2011
    9
    Horror movies all seem kinda lame lately these days. But, this one had me pretty freaked out. I give it a solid 9. There's not much moreHorror movies all seem kinda lame lately these days. But, this one had me pretty freaked out. I give it a solid 9. There's not much more scary than a young girl possessed by demons, doing freaky **** I liked this movie and not sure why it's gotten such negative reviews. If you're in my same boat that horror movies don't cut it anymore, I would strongly recommend this one. Give it a try, it freaked me out. Expand
  3. Jan 21, 2014
    7
    Needs little critical thinking. Just a thriller with horrifying undertones. Watch this movie when you want a pure and interestingNeeds little critical thinking. Just a thriller with horrifying undertones. Watch this movie when you want a pure and interesting distraction. Recommended. Expand
  4. Nov 9, 2011
    6
    CASE 39 is an entertaining and enjoyable killer kid flick that is very underrated and should have more positive reviews. Silly critics.
  5. Nov 1, 2011
    4
    I've been watching a lot of movies with young girls being used for the scare effect. I've seen many that utilize the overdoneI've been watching a lot of movies with young girls being used for the scare effect. I've seen many that utilize the overdone demonic-psychosis debate. If this movie was compared to the exorcism movies (Last Exorcism and Exorcism of Emily Rose) this movie is not worth watching. It seems to be along the same lines though. I didn't find this horrifying and it didn't keep me thrilled either. Expand
  6. Jul 25, 2013
    3
    The little girl looked creepy, which is the only good thing about this boring, tried horror formula. Aside of the good casting of the "child",The little girl looked creepy, which is the only good thing about this boring, tried horror formula. Aside of the good casting of the "child", there was no tension, or scary atmosphere in the movie, which is the basic requirement of a good horror/psychological thriller. Everything happened as we have already seen it before in other horror movies, so it lacked originality also. The ending was absolutely BAD! Not recommended. Expand
  7. Jan 9, 2011
    2
    It should come as an immediate indictment of Case 39 that I have begun writing this review before it even ends. The reason? The film justIt should come as an immediate indictment of Case 39 that I have begun writing this review before it even ends. The reason? The film just isn't that interesting.

    As far as demonic child horror flicks go, this is probably one of the worst. I have thought hard and cannot seem to find any redeemable qualities. The two biggest scares of the movie: a dog barking and an alarm clock going off. Wow. Scary stuff right there. Except, it isn't. Instead Case 39 offers up cheap thrills, horribly melodramatic acting and a storyline so cliche that you'll swear you've seen this somewhere before. Not to give away too much (in case you're just bored enough to actually watch this) but when a possibly-demonic child in the film is named Lilith, it kind of tips the hand.

    Now the film has ended so I can say with complete confidence, it never gets any better. It takes a pretty lame psychological horror thriller to make me laugh more than jump, but that's exactly what Case 39 does. I'm so excited that it is over, I may very well go celebrate. I can think of 39 reasons you shouldn't watch this film. If you choose to anyway, you were warned, and don't blame me.
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See all 19 User Reviews

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