Another killer kid
THERE’S NO mystery about the fact that this ropey scary-stary child horror has remained in unreleased limbo for the past two-and-a-half years. After all, following a decent beginning, it rapidly descends into mayhem of the most straight-toDVD stripe. The question is: why on earth has turned up today?
Perhaps the increased visibility of Bradley Cooper – almost unknown when the film was shot – has something to do with it. Well, if you want to see the star of The Hangover exude killer flies from every orifice, then this is your only man. He certainly doesn’t do that in All About Steve.
Renée Zellweger, more hamsterfaced than usual, plays a social worker with a particular interest in abused children. The titular Case 39 concerns a family who, terrified of their apparently sweet young daughter (Jodelle Ferland), have taken to ramming her in the oven and turning on the gas.
The concerned Zellweger takes the child into her own home, but, after a few mysterious deaths, begins to suspect she might be possessed by the Devil. Or maybe she actually is the Devil. Or something. Who knows or cares?
The opening act follows the dictates of the paedophobic genre (see last year’s first-rate Orphan) by transforming ordinary juvenile irritations into colossal outrages. Watch as the kid’s manner of eating peas drives Renée to distraction. But the unintentionally hilarious final half hour offers repeated evidence that the film-makers’ don’t know the solution to their own occult mystery.
Back to limbo with you, Case 39.
Case 39: first reaction to the script