Case 39 (2009 film)

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Scene from Case 39 (2009 film)...


"Some cases should never be opened." A social worker fights to save a girl from her abusive parents, only to discover that the situation is more dangerous than she ever expected.


  • Release Date: 2009
  • Country/Language: US/Canada, English
  • Genres/Technical: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
  • Setting: Modern California USA
  • Runtime: 1 hr 49 min
  • Starring: Renée Zellweger, Ian McShane, Jodelle Ferland
  • Director: Christian Alvart
  • Writer: Ray Wright
  • Producer/Production Co: Paramount Vantage, Misher Films, Anonymous Content
  • View Trailer: (link) (note that the trailer was apparently made before a major rewrite, and contains a number of scenes and apparently elements of a plot that do not appear in the finished film)
  • TVTropes: (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link)


MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: R (Violence, Profanity)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

No direct connection to Lovecraft's work, but the premise struck me as easy enough to adapt to a Call of Cthulhu scenario: Lovecraft's body-snatching aliens and wizards are virtually indistinguishable from what is most easily assumed to be demonic possession in a movie like this.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.


Review Links:

  • (review needed)

Synopsis (SPOILERS)

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

An overstressed social worker fights to save a girl from her abusive parents after they drug the child and try to bake her in an oven, only for the social worker to discover that the situation is more dangerous than she ever expected: her friends and coworkers begin to die off, and she soon begins to believe that there is something wrong with the increasingly creepy girl - something menacing, and deadly. The film's obvious conclusion is provided by the girl's parents, now confined to a mental hospital with bizarre and self-destructive delusions: according to the parents, the girl is a demon which feeds on the good will of others, while killing off their loved ones simply by speaking in tongues to them. Another social worker character suggests that the child is simply a very manipulative human being, which is another possible interpretation. The film can also be interpreted as the social worker's paranoid delusion under the pressure of her job.....


Comments, Trivia, Dedication

Associated Mythos Elements

  • TO DO

Keeper Notes

  • The investigators are called for help in the aftermath of a series of bizarre deaths surrounding a young child... is it the figment of a social worker's imagination, a very persuasive and manipulative child, a ghost or other malevolent presence, a demonic possession, the Great Race of Yith or other alien mind, or is the reincarnation or possession from a witch/warlock ancestor involved?