#167 -- Case 39 (2009)

Director: Christian Alvart
Rating: 4 / 5

Renee Zellweger is Emily Jenkins. She is a social worker who devotes her life to helping children escape bad situations. It's not easy work, but she takes pride in it. She really cares for all the children she works with, but none so much as Lily Sullivan. She feels drawn to Lily's case (which is her 39th), so when the department cans the investigation, Emily takes it into her own hands to get Lily away from her abusive parents. Lily told her that she heard her parents talking about sending her to Hell, and Emily can tell that Lily is really afraid of something. When Emily and her police officer friend arrive at the Sullivan home, her parents have Lily locked in the oven, planning to burn her alive. They are obtained, and Lily goes to live with Emily. Everything seems fine for a while, until Emily realizes that Lily is a bit frightening. And that people around her die mysteriously. She learns from Lily's father that she kills people by showing them their very own private Hells. She feeds on fear. What she does is get into peoples' heads, making them see things that cause them to eventually take their own lives. By this point, Emily is retty damn scared. But she can't just give Lily to someone else, or the whole thing will start all over again. And she can't let her stay, of course, or Emily will end up dead. The only way to stop the demon child is to kill her.

So, it turns out, the Sullivans aren't crazy, as everyone had thought. They are victims. I hated them to begin with, but I grew to feel sorry for them. They end up dying "mysteriously" in the mental facility where they were kept. As for Emily? Lily tells her that if she doesn't do everything she says, she will get hurt. Since everyone that could have helped Emily is dead by this point, she's all on her own. She has two choices: 1) become a slave to the little demon girl, or 2) find a way to kill her.

I'll be honest: I wasn't really expecting much from this one. I'm not sure why, but it just didn't seem interesting to me. But it surprised me by being a pretty entertaining movie. I was drawn to the characters immediately so, even though it started out a bit slow, I was interested in the people and their lives. The little girl who played Lily did an amazing job, and she really was quite creepy. The demon's true form was only glimpsed, but it looked great. Story, characters, acting, effects - everything was good. I wouldn't call it top-knotch, but there aren't many that I would. But it definitely kept my attention, and I really enjoyed it.

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