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Case 39 Review Critics


Dave White Profile

The Omen-ette Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 16

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    An aggressively inept demon-seed chiller starring a bunch of grown-ups who should've known better.

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  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    Director Christian Alvart ("Pandorum") is unable to invest much stylization into the proceedings, and Ray Wright's by-the-book screenplay only serves as a reminder of the innumerable demon-child movies that have preceded this one.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Dull "killer kid" tale features violence involving children.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Case 39 is part of the "killer children" horror subgenre, in which children are shown to be evil and homicidal; it's a psychologically effective and scary idea, but this movie is mainly out for shocks rather than exploring anything deeper. There's lots of violence, including some scenes involving children (in one particularly disturbing sequence, adults push a girl into an oven and light it), as well as other deaths and injuries. Language includes a few uses of "f--k" and "s--t," while sex, drinking, and drugs aren't prevalent.

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. How did it affect you? Why do you think it affected you that way?
  • As a horror movie, is Case 39 scary? Which scenes worked the best? In general, what's scarier -- blood and gore, or long, slow build-ups?
  • What makes "killer kids" like Lilith scary?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie suggests that evil lurks everywhere, even in the sweetest and most innocent of children. You can't trust anybody or anything, and there's never any attempt to learn anything, to turn things around for the better, or to find hope in the world.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Emily is a social worker who ostensibly wants to help children, but this doesn't come from a place of generosity. She's frustrated and stressed and apparently incapable of forming any meaningful relationships of her own. She's short and abrupt with people and quick to mistrust them. Once she decides that the child is evil, she never really tries to help; her first impulse is to try to kill the child.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Some violence involving children, including a sequence in which two parents push a girl into an oven and light it. She escapes, but the father pushes his boot into her back to stop her. They duct tape her mouth and smash her hand in the oven door. In another sequence, a boy kills his parents with a tire iron, though no actual "contact" is shown; viewers see blood on the walls and pillows. Adults fight: Viewers see a man with a broken jaw, a man gets stabbed in the neck with a fork, and another man falls on the same fork (it impales him in the eye). Also images of a woman on fire, a dog attack, shooting guns, a speeding car (with a child on board), a burning house, scary demons, and several sudden shocks.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Some flirting between grown-ups.

  • language false4

    Language: A couple of uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "hell," "ass," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Characters drink Heineken beer in a bar.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink a beer in a bar, and the main character enjoys a glass of wine at home. The main character also grinds up sleeping pills into a cup of tea to give to the demon child.