Parents' Guide to

Case 39

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Dull "killer kid" tale features violence involving children.

Movie R 2010 109 minutes
Case 39 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 12+

Another edge of your seat movie

The movie is well told, kids who are into the "jump scares" will love this, I allowed my 13, 12 and 10 year old to watch this. It is scary but does not have drugs, sex, or extreme violence(as far as gore is concerned) in it. The parents are far from role models which I do like to see in movies however I did review movie before allowing them to watch it.
age 14+

Worth watching...

Case 39 definitely has it's scares, but it felt a little cliche most of the time. To me, "demon child" horror movies aren't really that scary and come off more like silly or unrealistic. The little girl was very annoying in this, but apart from that it was enjoyable. Renee is great, she always has this sweet vibe about her. The story is basically about a busy social worker named Emily (Renee) who has to take on another case (39) and investigate a little girl (Lily) who is apparently being abused by her parents. The parents are eventually sent to a mental institution and Lily becomes an orphan. She gets adopted by Emily because of their close bond and also because Emily feels deeply sorry for her, but Emily soon finds out that something isn't quite right with her new "daughter". She goes deeper into investigation and visits the nut house to speak to Lily's father where she finds out the terrible & evil truth behind Lily. Violence is pretty heavy which includes a child being shoved into an oven and lighting it, child's mouth being duct taped, fingers getting slammed into an oven door, the evidence of a murder is seen which shows blood everywhere, a man gets severely attacked my hornets and violently falls to his death, fork fights including stabbing, yelling and arguing, a scary chase scene, guns, dog attack, some fires including a woman hallucinating that she's on fire, speeding car and demon-like voices coming from a child. Sexual content just has some very mild flirting at a bar. Language has a few "f" words, sh*t, hell, @ss, [email protected] There is some drinking but not much, pills are crushed into tea. Fine for 15+ but the violence is sometimes intense.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (23):

The "demon child" subgenre of horror movies is an old one, stretching from The Bad Seed to The Omen to the more recent Orphan, and Case 39 doesn't have anything fresh to add. Completed in 2007, CASE 39 sat around for a long time before being unceremoniously dump in theaters in 2010; in the meantime, director Christian Alvart went on to make the effectively moody Pandorum, but this movie is a dud.

In these movies, the horror springs from the concept that the purest and most innocent of all creatures -- a child -- can harbor murderous evil. But Case 39 doesn't seem to understand this; there's no real emotional draw to the characters, and they don't seem connected to one another. Alvart counts on jump shocks and sudden noises for his scary scenes, and none of it works very well. The movie never digs deeper into its premise.

Movie Details

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