Demon Child Better at Annoying than Frightening
Zelwegger plays Emily Jenkins, a workaholic children’s services social worker, who is assigned her 39th caseload—Lily (Jodelle Ferland), a young girl who has recently started withdrawing at school. When Emily visits the family’s house, she quickly notices something amiss. The parents seem like unhinged religious zealots, but there’s no apparent sign of abuse. A few days later she and her cop buddy (Ian McShane) bust into their house in the middle of the night to find the parents attempting to roast young Lily in the oven. They are sent to a mental institution and Emily gets temporary custody of Lily.
At this point, the story, which has been moderately interesting up till now, should start to get really scary. Instead, it becomes ridiculous. Laughably so.
See, Lily is evil. It’s not that she’s possessed by demons; she is a demon. And while the freaky-child brand of horror movie is often the most unnerving, this one isn’t, mostly because the child in question is so completely annoying.
There is an unintentionally hilarious scene involving a whole lot of hornets and Bradley Cooper, who plays a child psychologist and Emily’s love interest. But it’s hardly worth seeing the movie just for that.
Case 39 was filmed all the way back in 2006 and set for release in 2008. But it was delayed and delayed…and delayed. It finally came out in Latin American, Europe and Australia in August 2009, but didn’t make it to American theaters until Oct. 1. The reason? Had to be because it sucked so much.