Sunday, 20 February 2011

Film Review: CASE 39 (2009)

Director: Christian Alvart
Running time: 109 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

Genre: Horror/Mystery/Thriller
UK release date 5th March 2010

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 20th February 2011.


I remember when this one came out I didn’t know much about it, but I had a feeling it was going to be an interesting film. Well, since then I had heard a few more bits and pieces, but not too much. So primed with a little knowledge and a glass of red wine I settled down to the scariest film I’ve seen this year (OK, it’s only February & it is only the 36th film I’ve seen this year). I will give you my thoughts after a very brief summary (summary haters and those who don’t wish to know anything about the plot please help Emily with those big bolts for the inside of her door while I write the next paragraph).

Emily Jenkins is a social worker who specialises in cases of child abuse, she lives alone, but has a boyfriend (of sorts), Doug, a psychologist. She’s already overworked when her boss, Wayne, gives her her 39th case file. It concerns a young girl, Lilith Sullivan, whose grades are dropping at school and she keeps falling asleep in class. Emily visits the family and the parents’ behaviour gives her cause for concern but there is no evidence of abuse. She tries to get a friend of hers, Mike Barron, a cop to look into the case, but again, there is no evidence. Having struck up a friendship with Lilith, Emily is more determined to get her away from her parents. She receives a phone call from Lilith late one night and, concerned, she gets Mike to meet her at the Sullivan house. There they find the parents attempting to kill Lilith (I won’t say how) and they are arrested after a struggle. Emily now applies for, and gets, custody of Lilith. At first things go well, but then… Well, that’s where I’ll leave it, but I will say it’s about to get very interesting to Emily.

I guess the plot is not entirely original, but the film is very well made with a decent cast to keep the audience interested. Now I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of horror films and so I don’t watch many of them, but did like this one. The main reason being the performance of Jodelle Ferland as Lilith Sullivan, she was truly creepy when required and it really added to my enjoyment of the piece. It was nice to see RenĂ©e Zellweger in a genre I never thought I see her in as Emily Jenkins and Ian McShane put in a decent shift as Det. Mike Barron. I guess I should also give an honourable mention to Bradley Cooper as Doug, although he wasn’t really stretched.

I quite enjoyed this film; it made a nice change to see a horror film that was actually a bit creepy for a change. It’s not perfect, there’s quite a slow pace that’s used to build the tension and the final scenes are slightly predictable. Having said that, I think it’s worth a watch, it’s certainly better than some of the scores I’ve seen it given around the internet (you know who you are Rotten Tomatoes).

My score: 6.1/10

(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page:
RT Page:
Official Site:

No comments: