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Case 39


Stars: Renee Zellweger, Ian McShane, Jodelle Ferland, Bradley Cooper, Adrian Lester, Cynthia Stevenson, Callum Keith Rennie, Kerry O'Malley

Director: Christian Alvart

And we thought Orphan was silly! If anything, this one's even less believable. The evil child here is again a young girl (Ferland), but she hasn't even the Orphan's grim secret: she's just possessed by a demon.

Her case falls into the hands of a determined, caring social worker (OK, I know that's a bit of a stretch), played by Zellweger. Arriving on her second visit, she's just in time to see the girl's parents stuffing the child into the gas oven.

'What kind of people would put a kid in an oven?' groans private cop McShane. 'Bad people,' responds Renée. 'What's wrong with you guys?' continues McShane, little realising he's asking the right question to the wrong person.

Well, mum and dad are locked away and little Jodelle moves in with Renée. People start dying through demonic suggestion and you can guess the rest. Even the ending resembles that of Orphan, although, to be fair, this was made first and has been shelved for some time.

Zellweger, whose hair length varies from scene to scene, wasn't really cut out for this sort of over-directed poppycock, although she does her chipmunk best. The cast at the end is listed 'in order of prominence'. That, at least, is a first.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour by deluxe.
109 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 01 Mar 2010