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Talera v Case 39

Posted 4th January 2011 at 03:47 PM by Talera

I have had many people tell me that Case 39 is an original horror movie that is unsettling. I know it surrounds a child in the foster care system due to abusive parents and given I previously worked in a field which exposed me to such issues I thought it would also hit home a bit further for me than most people.

Before you read on there are spoilers, but all things I found terribly predictable within the film and guessed within the first 15-20 minutes.

I rented the film and I cannot advise it is scary. To me this movie was effectively a play on the Exorcist. It was not known what cause the child to be evil, though hints were given (especially near the end). This means they could not undergo an exorcism. So what happens when you have an evil child and don’t know if she is possessed or born that way? To me this is the real premise of the film. What are your options? Live within it given she’s fine is she is happy and getting what she wants? Go mad slowly while everything around you dies? Give her away? Take yourself and the child to the grave?

I did not find the performances of the adults that credible to be honest. I do not think Renee was a good choice for the main character and I think that they relied more on her homely face than her ability to connect in a caring manner to children. Maybe this was brought on by having been exposed to the profession previously. Funnily enough the only time I found her believable was when she was yelling at one of the parents, having seen so many people wish they could do that.

I do not regret this movie and did enjoy watching it mainly because the performance by the girl (Jodelle Ferland) was outstanding. While the way the movie was set up did not capitalise on evil innocence the way many try to, her ability to flick between charming girl and cold ‘thing’ right down to the expressions on her face was excellent. I’m not surprised that her acting resume has her doing many dark roles as she is very suited in being able to make the body language and tone changes required for these characters.

In the end I was glad I watched it. While the movie did not unnerve me and I found the story predictable (but hey most films are), I found I was sucked in by Jodelle’s performance of the waylaid little girl who knew who she was but not what she was.
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