Case 39 (2010)

“This little girl heard her parents say that they were going to send her to hell.” — Emily Jenkins, Case 39

So begins Case 39, a horror-thriller vehicle for Renee Zellweger that’s sat on a shelf for 4 years. Wikipedia says, that the film was completed in “late 2006″ and rescheduled three more times before landing on American screens, this Friday, October 1.

Case 39 is not a bad movie, but it is a movie we’ve seen many times before (see Orphan (2009) and  Joshua (2007)). RZ plays the hard-working, well-maening social worker, Emily Jenkins who prevails upon her to add one more child protective case to her already-overburdened caseload. Vocation turns into affection and Jenkins adopts the child and brings her into her home, and then… things start to go wrong.

I won’t trouble you with any more details, as it is the interpretation of form that prevails is the real subject of interest here. Case 39 is a bad seed flick and moves fairly predictably, save for the contributions of actor Callum Keith Rennie during the first half hour or so. Though it’s billed as a Zellweger movie, it really belongs to Rennie and actress Jodelle Ferland, the troubled girl, Lily, whom Zellweger’s Jenkins rescues from a troubled home.

Fans of the recent Battlestar Galactica television show take note: Leoben is much more dynamic here. Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper, Cynthia Stevenson and Adrian Lester are wasted here. A better director would have figured out a better way of using their talents, once they were booked.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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