Case 39

Case 39

Christian Alvart (2008)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Social worker Emily Jenkins (Renée Zellweger) fosters a ten-year-old girl she seemingly saves from atrocious child abuse. But when Lilith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland) begins showing her true demonic colours and causes Jenkins's friends to die in horrific ways, the social worker realises the parents were acting in self-defence. While the viewer will remain one step ahead of the story at all times, director Christian Alvart (Antibodies) manages to keep the emotionally charged events moving at a fair clip to gloss over the mounting credibility problems. Loaded with startling imagery and inventive deaths (the standout is a hornet infestation nightmare), it's still the sneaky left-field shocks with which Alvart punctuates the increasingly action-orientated narrative that provide the most effective jolts. Zellweger does stunned bewilderment well, but it's Tideland star Ferland who truly shines as the manipulative fiend hiding behind wide-eyed, butter-wouldn't-melt innocence.


A social worker adopts a girl whose parents abused and ultimately tried to kill her. However, she finds they may have had good reason for wanting to get rid of the child, who has supernatural powers that she puts to murderous use. As the bodies pile up, the adoptive mother struggles to convince anyone of the girl's evil nature. Horror, with Renee Zellweger, Jodelle Ferland and Ian McShane.

Cast & Crew

Emily Jenkins Renee Zellweger
Lilith Sullivan Jodelle Ferland
Det Barron Ian McShane
Doug Bradley Cooper
Edward Sullivan Callum Keith Rennie
Wayne Adrian Lester
Margaret Sullivan Kerry O'Malley
Nancy Cynthia Stevenson
Director Christian Alvart
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: ParamountGuidance: violenceAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 5 Mar 2010