24 November 2011

19 Nov - "I worry about what's going to happen"

Case 39 (2009)
dir. Christian Alvart (Pandorum, 2009)

Renée Zellweger (Appaloosa, 2008)
Jodelle Ferland (Girl Fight, TV 2011)
Ian McShane (Coraline (voice), 2009)
Bradley Cooper (Valentine's Day, 2010/1)
Callum Keith Rennie (Blade: Trinity, 2004)
Adrian Lester (The Day After Tomorrow, 2004)
Kerry O'Malley (The Happening, 2008)
Cynthia Stevenson (Air Bud: Golden Reciever, 1998)
Alexander Conti (Cheaper by the Dozen 2, 2005)
Mary Black (The Wicker Man, 2006)
Benita Ha (X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006)
Fulvio Cecere (Watchmen, 2009)
Colin Lawrence (Fantastic Four, 2005)
Dagmar Midcap (The Last Mimzy, 2007)
Bill Mondy (The Day the Earth Stood Still, 2008)
Andrew Arlie (Final Destination 2, 2003)
Sarah-Jane Redmond (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, 2005)
Daniel Bacon (The Day the Earth Stood Still, 2008)
Dalias Blake (Red Riding Hood, 2011)
Phillip Mitchell

I expressed trepidation towards this movie a while ago but I decided to go for it anyway because I felt like watching a movie about possession. Turns out I might have been better served by checking out The Rite, The Last Exorcism, or finally getting around to The Exorcism of Emily Rose. This movie is about a well meaning social worker who takes in a child seemingly abused by her parents only to discover that all is not as it seems. This movie was hard to get through because Renee Zellweger sort of rubs me the wrong way, and it was one of those movies where the protagonist never does what I would do in that situation, and that just seems stupid.

The little girl was also sort of confusing because I was unclear on whether she was killing people expressly to make Renee's character unhappy or just to manipulate her into playing happy family or just because she was crazy demon-spawn. It was also unclear why she was so desperate to have a loving caretaker.

The ending was hectic, it seems that the evil was defeated, but is the social worker going to prison now? What will the official report say? I'd also like to say that I feel a lot of this was lifted from old episodes of the X-files, especially the parts where the adults are forced to cater to the untenable whims of an implacable child.

On the other hand, it was interesting to see how the possession theme was treated without any religious overtones. There was no priest or exorcism or ceremonies. The kid was just a demon. Case closed. It's true enough that the exorcism narrative has been beaten to death, but I'm not sure the attempt to circumvent those themes was effective here. One thing that religion always gives us in movies is the potential for redemption. In Case 39, not only was the child destroyed, but it seems that the heroine is also slated for demise, as is everyone else the girl came into contact with. I don't really enjoy it when a movie doesn't have any winners.

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