Case 39: Wikis


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Case 39

promotional poster
Directed by Christian Alvart
Produced by Lisa Bruce
Steve Golin
Alix Madigan
Kevin Misher
Written by Ray Wright
Starring Renée Zellweger
Jodelle Ferland
Bradley Cooper
Ian McShane
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) August 31, 2009 (2009-08-31)
New Zealand
Running time 115 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $11,637,485 (international)

Case 39 is a 2009 horror film directed by Christian Alvart and stars actress Renée Zellweger and Canadian actress Jodelle Ferland. The film was shot in Vancouver in late 2006, and was scheduled to be released in August 2008, but it was pushed back to April 10, 2009, and then January 1, 2010. It still has not been released in the U.S. It was released in the UK on 5 March 2010.



Social worker Emily Jenkins (Renée Zellweger) is assigned to investigate the family of 10-year-old Lillith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland), as her grades in school have declined and an emotional rift with her parents emerges. Emily suspects that the parents have been abusing Lillith, and proposes to her department to take the child away from her parents' custody. Emily's fears are confirmed when Lillith's parents try to kill her by roasting her in the oven at their home. Emily saves Lillith with the help of Detective Mike Barron (Ian McShane). Lillith is originally sent to a children's home but she begs Emily to look after her instead. With the agreement of the board, Emily is assigned to take care of Lillith until a suitable foster family comes along. In the mean time, Lillith's parents are placed in a mental institution.

Not too long after Lillith moves in, strange things begin to happen around Emily and her work. Another of Jenkins's cases, a boy named Diego, suddenly murders his parents one morning, and Detective Barron informs Emily that somebody phoned Diego from her house the night before the crime. As she is suspected of involvement in the incident, Lillith undergoes a psychiatric evaluation by Emily's boyfriend Douglas J. Ames (Bradley Cooper). During the session, however, Lillith turns the evaluation around, asking Douglas what his fears are and taunting him with her own threats. That night, after receiving a strange phone call in his apartment, Douglas is panicked by the sight of a swarm of hornets coming out of his body. He is overcome by his childhood fear of hornets until he fatally injures himself in his bathroom.

Emily gradually becomes fearful at having Lillith in her home, so she heads to the mental asylum for answers from Lillith's parents. They tell her that Lillith is a demon who feeds on human kindness, and that they tried to kill her in an attempt to save themselves. Lillith's father tells Emily she must kill her and the only way to do so is to get her to sleep. Shortly after Emily leaves the asylum, both parents die in unusual circumstances.

Detective Barron initially thinks Emily should seek psychiatric help, but is later convinced when he receives a strange phone call in his home from Emily's cellphone, which is being used by Lillith. He arms himself at the police precinct to aid Emily in handling Lillith. However, he inadvertently shoots himself when Lillith makes him imagine he is being attacked by dogs. That night, Emily has Lillith drink tea spiked with sleeping pills. While Lillith is asleep, Emily sets her home on fire. Firefighters promptly appear to extinguish the fire, but Emily is shocked when Lillith appears next to her.

The police offer to escort Emily and Lillith to a temporary place to sleep. As Emily is following the police cars, she suddenly takes a different route and drives her car at a high speed, hoping to bring fear to Lillith. She then drives the car off a pier. As the car sinks, Emily struggles to lock Lillith in the trunk by folding the rear seats against her. Emily then exits the car, but as she swims away, Lillith grabs her leg after punching a hole on the car's left tail light section. Emily struggles to break free until Lillith finally lets go as the car continues to sink. She climbs back ashore, relieved to be rid of Lillith.[1][2]


Main Cast[3]


On October 31, 2006, a fire started on the film's set in Vancouver. None of the cast were on the set at the time and nobody was seriously injured, though the set and studio were destroyed.[4]


The film has had many release dates, since it first began production back in 2006. Its initial US release was February 8, 2008 which was changed to February 22, 2008.[5] It was then moved to August 22, 2008,[6] and then moved again to April 10, 2009. Then it got pushed back to a January 1, 2010. Now it has an undetermined date for 2010.[7] It was then totally removed from Paramount's release schedule.[8]

Its release has also been bumped many times in Australia, but was settling for an August 20, 2009 date, with promotional posters being seen in cinema foyers, but the release date was changed yet again, to November 5[9], and an official Australian website has been produced to promote the film.[10] A Mexican opening date has been set for December 4, 2009.[11]

In the UK, the film was originally scheduled for release in April 2009[12], before being rescheduled to September 4[13], then September 25 [14][15][16], 2009, and then December 11, 2009, where it was trailed in cinemas as part of the multi-film distributors' Autumn Cinema[17] advertising campaign. It was finally released on 5 March, 2010.

On 4 September 2009, the Spanish language version of the movie was leaked onto the internet via various torrent and warez websites.[18]

Box office and reception

Case 39 was released to New Zealand cinemas on August 13, 2009 and in its opening weekend was ranked #12 with $35,056[19]. Averaging $1,845 at the 19 cinemas it was released, the film failed to garner attendance most likely due to extremely negative reviews. The film opened at a small-wide release in Australia, being shown on 85 screens. The film ranked #12 in its opening weekend with a screen average of $2,077 for a gross of $176,526. Extremely negative local reviews and a poor opening led to a shocking 70% 2nd weekend decrease. The film grossed a total of $AUD332,956.

The film has received mostly negative reviews and currently holds an 11% 'Rotten' rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 9 reviews, with critics describing the film as "universally terrible", "dumb" and "not scary".[20] Gareth Jones of Dread Central gave the film 2 out of 5 knives, saying, "I'm sure it will do decent business among the undemanding weekend-horror crowd and Zellweger fans when it eventually sees the light of day. Nobody else need apply."[21] Margaret Pomeranz of the Australian version of At the Movies gave the film 1 star out of 5 stars, calling it "one of the least scary, dumbest movies I’ve seen in a long time." Co-host David Stratton gave it 1 1/2 out of 5 stars, commenting that "once it sort of kicks into the plot - once it really gets down to the nitty gritty, like so many horror films it just becomes really ridiculous and silly."[22]


  1. ^ Opening CASE 39
  2. ^ "CanMag.Com". Case 39 2008 Preview Page. Retrieved December 7, 2007. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Robert Matas (2006-11-02). "Special-effects fire destroys movie set". Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
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  11. ^ Mexican opening date
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  14. ^,120/2154/Case+39+film+trailer.html
  15. ^
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  19. ^ Box Office Mojo - Case 39 New Zealand Box Office
  20. ^ "Case 39". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 5, 2009. 
  21. ^ Dread Central - Case 39 Review
  22. ^ At the Movies (Australia): Case 39

External links


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