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Running Time:
1 hour, 49 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for violence and terror including disturbing images.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This horror-thriller is both shlocky and bafflingly predictable, yet it's fun to watch the actors squirm.

Additional Info:
Extra DVD Features: Closed Caption; Filed Under "Evil": Inside Case 39; ; Turning Up the Heat on the Chill Factor; ; Inside the Hornet's Nest; Playing with Fire; Deleted Scenes.

Renée Zellweger ... Emily
Jodelle Ferland ... Lilith Sullivan
Ian McShane ... Det. Barron
Bradley Cooper ... Doug
Callum Keith Rennie ... Edward
Kerry O'Malley ... Margaret
Adrian Lester ... Wayne
Cynthia Stevenson ... Nancy
Alexander Conti ... Diego
Philip Cabrita ... Javier

Case 39

Emily (Renee Zellweger) is a social worker barely keeping up with 38 cases when her boss (Adrian Lester) hands her one more. It seems that 10-year-old Lily (Jodelle Ferland), might be being abused by her parents (Callum Keith Rennie and Kerry O'Malley). Surely when they lock her in an oven and switch on the heat, something is wrong. Emily rescues Lily and takes her in, turning to two friends for help: Doug (Bradley Cooper) a child psychologist. and (Ian McShane)  a grizzled detective. They both realize that something is clearly not right with Lily.

Screenwriter Ray Wright throws all manner of chaos into the story, which Christian Alvart directs with fairly obvious references to everything from Alfred Hitchcock to Stephen King. The problem is that it doesn't flow very smoothly; Alvart uses plenty of slick visual trickery but never develops a consistent style, while the story lurches and jumps along its rickety path.

Case 39 starring Renée Zellweger: DVD Cover Fortunately, none of that affects our enjoyment as Case 39 drifts way over the top. Renee Zellweger creates an intriguingly brittle character, and pretty much just has to hold on until the frantic finale. Much scrunchy-faced screaming ensues, which she's rather good at. While both Bradley Cooper and Ian McShane provide solid support. And if it's the adorable monster you're interested in, they don't get much better than Jodelle Ferland as the creepy Lily, who's just a little too smart for her own good and does even the most horrific things with a little girl's charm. All of this combines into a film that's relentlessly creepy, bafflingly predictable, and occasionally entertaining.

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