Kim Takes On: CASE 39
Published: October 4, 2010 - 2:52am
This movie was packed with a few surprises. It exceeded my expectations in regards to quality; but beware, the trailer and posters are completely misleading in regards to storyline.
The trailer and poster give off the impression that dark forces are possibly after this child and that Rene Zellweger acts as defender... When in fact the storyline is not at all that. Emily Jenkins (Zellweger), with the help of her friend Mike (Ian McShane), saves little girl Lilith from her parents when they attempt to kill her and "send her back to hell." Here's where the trailer gets misleading, Lilith is not this innocent little girl who is the victim of circumstances because some dark forces are after her, she is the villain of the story. The storyline can be considered recycled; it blends pieces of other horror movie story lines like The Omen, Orphan, and Drag Me To Hell. The movie starts out slow but if you can be patient and sit in pass the first 20 minutes or so then the story picks up and is actually a bit interesting. Though predictable ending wise, it still caught me off guard in regards to scares; I jumped a few times and even got creeped out at another scene. I think this was effective due to the performances given by the actors and while the effects were , um, cheesy to say the least, they, too, were effective for the most part. But don't get excited for this film yet. As I admitted above, I did jump at some scenes but most of the attempts they made were just 1) predictable and 2) forced. Christian Alvart was the director of the sci-fi thriller Pandorum, and like Pandorum, Case 39 is decent film but if you comapre the two films in regards to the director's work then Case 39 comes off as lazy next to Pandorum.
The little girl Lilith is basically an unoriginal character being a blend of Damien from The Omen and Esther from Orphan. She was portrayed by Jodelle Ferland known roles being Sharon/Alessa from Silent Hill and Bree from Twilight: Eclipse. This young lady was pretty effective at being creepy. I admit her voice got a bit too annoying for my liking trying to give off the child-like innocence and evil at once, but she still emoted herself well enough throughout the film; though there are times she fails to make that transition from innocence. She made me feel the intimidation and eeriness she was trying to relay to Cooper's character effectively in their scene together, this above all, to me, was the exceptional scene in the movie. Overall, I felt she delivered on her role.
Rene Zellweger, Ian McShane, and Bradley Cooper all gave good performances in this film. Though I have to say that in regards to Zellweger and Cooper's characters, they were missing that spark that made you believe these two people were into one another. There was no chemistry between the two and there scenes came off as fake and very bland. Now since this isn't a romantic-comedy or anything close to that genre it's okay to overlook it in this film, because when it came to the scenes that required persuasion and energy to help make the audience feel the intensity and fear the character was going through they pretty much delivered. Was it their best performances? No, of course not, but it was above par from what I expected walking into the film.
To sum it up, Case 39 exceeded my expectations as I expected it to be worst then what it was. Acting was good, storyline recycled and predictable but still not bad to watch just remember to disregard the trailer as it is deceptive.