Who's In It: Renee Zellweger, Bradley Cooper, Ian McShane, Jodelle Ferland
The Basics: Social worker Emily (Zellweger) is assigned the case of a sweet little 10-year-old girl named Lillith (Jodelle Ferland) and when Lillith's crazed parents try to roast her in their kitchen's oven (if you've ever seen a movie before, you'll figure out immediately that they're doing this because she's The Devil) the abused waif is placed in her social worker's care. And then people start dying in crazy ways, like suicide via bug infestation of the skull and satanic canine attack. As these coincidental deaths mount and Lillith turns into more and more of a horrible brat, Emily thinks, "Hmmm, perhaps I am dealing with a hell-child..."
What's The Deal: This is the kind of dumb thriller (with all the fake-out volume-based jolts that cheap thrillers and horror movies use because they've got nothing else in their arsenal) that digs itself deeper and deeper into a hole while you watch and think, "Wait, why hasn't anyone asked Question X of Person Y?" or "Why isn't Renee Zellweger just talking about her questions to the real police instead of her lazy detective friend or doing [fill in the blank with rational behavior that would derail the entire film] instead of [fill in the blank with irrational behavior needed to propel ludicrous plot]?" After a while you stop asking yourself questions and hope that the devil-girl just keeps killing everyone around her. She's the only one in the whole movie doing her job properly, after all.
Great Moments: When the kid mouths off to Bradley Cooper and tells him he's "facile" and "smug," which, admit it, you kind of were hoping someone would say to him eventually. Then he vomits bees. Another sweet piece of laugh-out-loudness comes during a big violent, screamy showdown with Zellweger and the littlest demon says, "We need to learn healthier ways of resolving conflict."
Under What Circumstances You Should Go See It On Opening Weekend: That's when it'll have its largest paying population, so find the rudest, rowdiest, drunkest, talking-back-to-the-screen kind of audience you can and join them as they shout their enthusiasms at Renee Zellweger's face. Oh, and on a somewhat related note, that face looks like she's leaving it alone these days and is nearly fully expressive from start to finish, which is kind of important when you have to scream and look scared or angry on camera. So good for her.
Make No Mistake: It's no Orphan. But then again, what is?