I had to admit the trailer got me hooked somewhat, as it debunked my dreariness toward yet another horror flick with a demonic kid as the centrepiece scare-master. However, those trailer scenes were nowhere found in this film, and it was yet another one of the same. It then became neither smart nor horrific, although it did leave a bad aftertaste that one could be either duped by sleight of hand tactics, or ended up watching something which undergone countless of rewrites and reshoots, pointing this film toward that of a hack job.
Renee Zellweger tries her hand at becoming a scream queen, but she gets upstaged by Jodelle Ferland as the helpless child who got adopted by Zellweger's social worker, only for things to go really strange when they're living together under the same roof. While the usual bag of tricks got employed to as scare tactics, a couple did stand out to elicit fearful screams, but ultimately what tanked was the rather high handed way the story got presented, in a rather take-it-or-leave-it fashion since no explanation was given about the origins of the ghoul, other than well, the devil can.
Notable cameos include Bradley Cooper and Ian McShane in rather throwaway characters used to beef up the run time with some unnecessary scenes and sub plots, though the latter did get involved in a fisticuffs in an enclosed space for a scene which I have to admit was quite well done in keeping the tension up until the final moment. Other than that, it gets its formula pretty much worked out, and the freshness presumed from the trailer, unfortunately did not materialize into a better film that this could have been. I've enjoyed director Christian Alvart's Pandorum, but this one turned out to be pretty much of a dud when compared.
You can read my review of Case 39 at movieXclusive.com by clicking on the logo below.