Today’s foray into horror cinema is a little yarn starring Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper. Imagine my excitement! But having a couple recognizable actors served a purpose in my overall scheme. See, I was watching this movie with a friend who isn’t a big fan of horror. Before ruining her mind with a viewing of The Serbian Film or some French New Wave stuff; I figured it might be best to start off with one of those predictable and comfortable horror films. And Case 39 fit the bill perfectly.
Zellweger is a hard-working social working out to make the world a better place for children one at a time. Her boss is a non-descript and almost worthless character whose only job appears to be handing Zellweger more cases. She already has 38 cases to work on. Did she really need one more? Well, yeah. She did, otherwise the title of this movie wouldn’t have made sense. Bradley Cooper makes an appearance as a group therapist for kids, boyfriend(?) to Zellweger, and manages to appear in a scene without his shirt on (of course).
The 39th case turns out to be – get ready – something much more sinister than a normal social case. Eegads! Never saw that coming. Actually, I shouldn’t be so harsh. The first 45 minutes of the film work very well and are quite unnerving. Zellweger initially thinks the parents of Lilith (case 39) are abusing her. She was right, but not normal abuse. In a surreal scene, Zellweger manages to save Lilith from being burned/gassed alive in an oven. Her parents really were trying to kill her. What’s that? Why would they try and kill a little girl? Sometimes kids are actually demons. That’s why.
Official response from my friend, “That’s why I am never having kids.” Seems reasonable to me. I’ve watched enough movies to know that almost every kid on planet earth is a demonically possessed killer or in some cases, a midget who attempts to seduce her own father. It’s best to be safe.
Once the movie gets going and the little girl is outed for being a demon, the plot quickly falls apart. If you can think of a cliché, it’s probably occurs in Case 39. Most notably, the fact that at no point do you feel like Zellweger isn’t going to win the battle and survive. This robs the film of any suspense that it could have built up. The end is a bit ludicrous and begs A LOT of questions. Like, how hard is it to kill a 10 year-old girl? Did anyone ever think Rene Zellweger was hot? And where can I get some ear wasps?
Speaking of the ear wasps, (Spoiler) you can take grace in knowing that Bradley Cooper was killed off by a swarm of them. And that, my friends, is pretty awesome.
Snore Factor: ZZZ (May cause drowsiness)