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A case of a decent enough movie
Case 39 (DVD)
Member Name: SpiderDreams
Case 39 (DVD)
Advantages: Easy to watch, not too scary, interesting
Disadvantages: not the best script
So, this time we opted for something a little less action-y and a little more suspense-ful...ish.
Cast: Renee Zellweger, Ian McShane, Jodelle Ferland, Bradley Cooper
Director: Christian Alvart
Genre: Horror, mystery, thriller
Run Time: 109 mins
Release date: 2009
The plot revolves around Emily Jenkins, played by Renee Zellweger, an idealistic social worker dealing with a heavy case load of abusive and neglectful parents. She is given another case to deal with, case 39. This new case involves a young girl named Lily Sullivan with apparent signs of neglect. During a visit the parents are cagey and aggressive and the girl subdued.
Emily manages a quick word with the girl while her parents are in a meeting with another social worker and this conversation reveals sinister intentions. Then during a late night call from the girl, Emily and a local cop Detective Mike Barron, played by Ian McShane race to the house in order to save the girl and take her away from the dangerous parents.
Safe from her parents, the girl is allowed to stay with Emily while a foster home is located. However is now that Emily starts to see that everything she thought about case 39 is not quite what it seems.
I have only ever seen Renee Zellweger in more comedic roles and typical chick flicks, so it was quite refreshing to see her try something darker. I actually found she did a great job, and seemed to fulfil the role of overworked but determined social worker agent in a strong fashion. Her character came across as mature which I sometimes found it lacking in her other more "chick-flick" roles.
The girl Lily, played by Jodelle Ferland was brilliant. I had recently seen her in Silent Hill, so was already aware of her acting ability. She is convincing with both her look and her facial expressions that really help to convey her character.
The rest of the support cast, Ian McShane works well as the grizzled "seen it all" cop and Callum Keith Rennie and Kerry O'Malley as the girl's parents have a real haunting quality at times. Only Bradley Cooper who played Doug the child psychiatrist comes across a little "wrong" for the part.
However while the acting was good, the script was a little placid in places, however the overall mood of the film was driven pretty well by the actors.
I think the music and soundtrack worked well with the movie, I do remember feeling certain tension at points and while none of the music stuck with me, it did help to develop the tense and somewhat creepy scenes. Also they did some great use of silence to get across tense scenes which helped to build some of the suspense.
I found the storyline to be pretty decent, nothing major and it does not really have you guessing -if you didn't get it from the trailers you will soon realise just where the movie is going. There were not any real surprises revealed but there were some tension and shock scenes every now and then - however personally wouldn't categorise this as horror and I should point out I don't like horror or overly creepy films and am easily startled with scenes that any hardened horror fan would not even bat an eye at. So the fact I could watch this without looking away or cringing suggests "horror" is not really the right genre to put this into.
The movie ran at a nice pace, didn't take too long for anything to get started and it kept interesting throughout.
The ending it was a little weak compared to the rest of the movie but overall I did enjoy it, nothing horrifying or overly scary so if you aren't a big fan of being scared then you can probably cope well with this one. Would be happy to watch it again and recommend.
Summary: Could watch it again