Case 39

Case 39 Image
Metascore
25

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

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 75 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. 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: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 7 out of 22
  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. May 4, 2016
    9
    Great film and what a fantastic little actor the young girl was. This was just enough horror for me

    Watch it online for free:
    Great film and what a fantastic little actor the young girl was. This was just enough horror for me

    Watch it online for free: https://www.primewire.ag/watch-20048-Case-39-online-free
    Expand
  3. Nov 18, 2015
    8
    Case 39 is not scary but has a great Story which will definitely keep you hooked. The acting is great, especially Renee Zellweger has done aCase 39 is not scary but has a great Story which will definitely keep you hooked. The acting is great, especially Renee Zellweger has done a great Job but Case 39 isn't better then other Horror Movies out there. If you are looking for a good Horror Movie you should pass but otherwise... I really recommend this one. Expand
  4. Mar 8, 2016
    6
    I haven't seen Case 39 in a while, but I remember enjoying it and thinking that the film was fun even if it did borrow a lot from otherI haven't seen Case 39 in a while, but I remember enjoying it and thinking that the film was fun even if it did borrow a lot from other superior films. Expand
  5. Jul 4, 2013
    5
    No mantiene al que la ve en suspenso y miedo todo el tiempo, tiene un desarrollo interesante, misterioso y entretenido, lo malo es unNo mantiene al que la ve en suspenso y miedo todo el tiempo, tiene un desarrollo interesante, misterioso y entretenido, lo malo es un predecible final. Expand
  6. Oct 3, 2010
    3
    The masturbation scene from William Freidkin's "The Exorcist" will always be shocking. In a sense, the saying, "Now I've seen it all," shouldThe masturbation scene from William Freidkin's "The Exorcist" will always be shocking. In a sense, the saying, "Now I've seen it all," should have been retired after 1973 when twelve-year-old Regan MacNeil(Linda Blair) jammed a crucifix in her vagina, while burning moviegoers' ears with a scatological mix of sex and religion that not even Prince would ever dare approach. The projectile vomiting, however, so often parodied, and more importantly, smiled upon, since the bodily function plays a big part in the modern comedy aesthetic, as a result, seems to have lost a lot of its initial shock value because moviegoers don't see the devil's bile anymore, they see pea soup. Lilith Sullivan(Jodele Ferland) eats peas, but that's as far as it goes; she masticates and digests; she holds her vegetables down. In "Case 39", it's harder to see the devil inside. As Lilith methodically cuts each pea with a knife and fork, Emily Jenkins(Renee Zelwegger), her foster mother, thinks nothing of it, chalking up the girl's idiosyncratic eating habits as a symptom of her abused past. The devil inside Lilith also knows how to keep its sexual appetite in check; the devil keeps things discreet. Adorning those walls of the girl's old house, the domicile where Lilith was almost cooked alive, trapped inside the oven, put there by her parents, as if the whole family were characters out of a modern-day Brothers Grimm fairytale, are crucifixes, that, as Sheena Easton would put it, never "spend[s] a night in [her] sugar walls," but nevertheless, carries a certain sexual latency, being that the devil would distort the Christian relic's holy significance the first chance he'd get. Naturally, the carefully sliced peas has nothing to do with persnicketiness; it's a warning sign, unbeknownst to Emily, that her charge, the devil incarnate, perceives Doug(Bradley Cooper), a child psychiatrist, as a rival for the dim-witted woman's attention(but to be fair, all horror movie heroines are programmed this way), and an affront to the foster parent's boyfriend's prowess as a satisfactory lover, in which the peas denote small balls, and its smashing, denotes further that small balls is no match for big balls. Not only does Doug die, but the girl's father, Edward Sullivan(Callum Keith Rennie), too, whom the girl's mother, Margaret(Kerry O'Malley) chose over Lilith/the devil after she rejects her/his overture to, perhaps, engender devil spawn. The audience gets to see this scenario play out for themselves. When Emily, finally, at long last, realizes the mess she's in, the devil turns on the charm, utilizing its proxy to play the lolita, by tweaking the girl's feminine voice to flirtatious and persuasive heights, as a means to coax her guardian from under the bed. Since this is the devil we're talking about, Lilith probably wants to do more than talk. 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.
    Expand

See all 22 User Reviews

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