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Case 39 | 2010 | R | - 2.8.5

After a diligent social worker (Renee Zellweger) brings an abused child (Jodelle Ferland) to live with her, mysterious and gory murders begin taking place all around her, and she soon discovers that the child is not as innocent as she thought. Also with Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper and Callum Keith Rennie. Directed by Christian Alvart. [1:49]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A man holds a woman closely and kisses her on the head. A man asks a woman if she is interested in a "purely physical" relationship, and she laughs and changes the subject after he kisses her on the cheek. A woman jokes with a man that he is "into psychology for the chicks."
 A man standing in a bathroom removes his shirt (we see glimpses of his bare chest and back). We see a woman wearing a bikini top briefly on a television show.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - A man finds a hornet inside his ear, he removes it and is then overcome with insects, he shouts, removes his shirt (now covered in hornets), and stomps on them on the ground; another swarm of hornets fly around him, he swings at them and stumbles into a glass shower door, breaking it and giving himself a bloody cut on the forehead, lunges forward and rips at his face and neck, and we hear a snapping noise as he appears to break his own neck (he falls and hits his head on a toilet seat).
 A man gets into a car to avoid a growling dog, but he turns and finds an angry dog in the back seat of the car, it growls and shows its teeth before it lunges at his throat, we hear a gunshot and see a spray of blood on the window of the car; we later see the man's dead body, over half of his face is missing (bloodied and gaping tissue is visible), and we hear a man explain to a woman that he appears to have committed suicide).
 A police officer and a woman walk into a room where blood is seen sprayed on the walls and a bed is soaked with blood and we hear that a boy had used a tire iron to beat his parents to death in their sleep; we then see a boy carrying a tire iron and swinging it over his head towards a sleeping man, we hear a squishing noise and see a spatter of blood spray on the wall as a woman lying in the bed awakens, covered in blood, and we hear the sound again and see another spray of blood on the wall.
 A man leaps across a table and stabs another man in the neck, and blood pours from the man's wound as he dies; the attacker stands on a table as police officers rush around him, he kicks them and shouts, jumps off the table and lands on the ground on top of a fork, the fork enters his eye and we see him face-down, blood pooling around him, and he appears to be dead.
 A man and a woman place a sleeping girl into an oven, they tape the girls' mouth, the girl struggles and screams, pushing the oven door open (the force shoves the woman back), the man puts his foot on top of the girl's back, drags her back to the oven, shoves her in, tapes the door closed and turns on the gas and flame; the girl screams as a police officer and a woman break through the door and save the girl (she is seen with gauze on her arms later from the burns).
 As a car sinks into a body of water, the driver shoves a girl passenger into the trunk of the car (from the inside) as the girl shouts and kicks. A woman, escaping from a sinking car, is grabbed by the clawed hand of a monster; the woman kicks and swims to the surface unharmed as the monster drowns. A girl transforms into a monster with claws and massive arms and fights a woman who traps her until she presumes she's dead.
 A police officer punches a man in the face so hard that we see his jaw visibly broken and his face disfigured (he is later seen with bruises on his face and his jaw is wired shut).
 A woman fearfully opens a closet and a bloodied, burnt and mangled woman leaps out and chases her, breaking through a front porch railing as she follows her through the street. A woman screams as a girl shoves against the door of a room where the woman has barricaded herself; the door and wall shake, the door collapses, the woman screams and stumbles backwards over some splinters (we later see a small trail of blood coming from a cut on her foot) and hides under a bed.
 A man and a woman attack a police officer and another woman: the police officer struggles and slams the man's head against a fridge (we see a dent from the force) and drops him to the ground. A woman with a knife threatens another woman, and a police officer forcefully shoves her away, knocking the knife out of her hand.
 We see the dead body of a man propped against a toilet, with blood on his forehead and face. A woman finds photographs of children with various cuts and bruises on their faces. A woman is tied to a bed in a mental hospital's padded room and we hear that the woman had clawed at her arms like they were on fire (we later see the woman's arms covered in cuts and scabs) and we see a flashback to her arms covered in flames.
 On two occasions a woman drives recklessly, cutting in and out of traffic while other cars honk and swerve to avoid her car: On one occasion, a girl is riding in the front seat of the car while the woman has a vision of driving into a semi truck, and the girl appears very scared before the woman drives the car off a boat dock and into the water.
 A woman drugs a girl with sleeping pills, ties the bedroom door shut, soaks the house with gasoline, and sets the house on fire (we see the girl and is unharmed). A woman panics when the elevator she and a girl are riding in drops rapidly and the sound of breaking cables is heard (the elevator is seen crashing through the elevator shaft to the bottom (the woman and the girl are unharmed and it appears that the woman was hallucinating). A woman shouts at a girl and tips a television over, and she then grabs a bowl of popcorn the girl is eating and knocks it out of her hands.
 A boy hyperventilates, he falls to the ground unconscious, and is later seen hooked up to a monitor in a hospital bed and his heart rate races while a woman asks him questions. A woman grabs a girl's arm and drags her out of a room, as another woman gasps and children are heard asking, "Why is she hurting her?"; the woman is confronted by another woman who tells her she cannot treat the girl like that. A group of people attends a funeral as a man explains to a woman that they believe the dead man had killed himself.
 We hear that it is believed that a girl was responsible for the deaths of multiple family members, including brothers and sisters, and that the only way the girl could be stopped is to be killed. A man discusses with a woman how a girl is responsible for people's deaths by manipulating their thoughts and that the girl must be killed in order to be stopped. We hear that a boy had gotten into a fight at school which caused the other child to have to go to the hospital and that the aggressor had been exposed to violence his father had committed. A man and a woman discuss how a boy had been raised in household of violence and how that caused him to be violent. We overhear a phone conversation where a woman tells someone that a girl had been found with bruises and cigarette burns on her body. A man tells a woman that he will help the woman kill a girl after they listen to a tape of a girl's voice change into a male voice, which states he has killed his family and will kill again. A woman screams at a female voice over the phone, threatening to "beat her" like she does to her child. A girl asks a woman to come looking for her if she disappears, implying she is afraid for her life at the hands of her parents. A woman tells a girl that she had been scared as a child, and that her mother had died in a car accident. A girl says that she has overheard her parents say they want to "send her to hell." A man talks about having been stung over 100 times by hornets, and that he had to be hospitalized and now fears hornets. A girl asks a woman if the woman thinks the girl is responsible for a man dying and the woman says no. A girl tells a man that she is afraid of herself because she has bad thoughts about people. A woman tells another woman that Child Protective Services had been called by a girl's school because they noticed signs of neglect.


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LANGUAGE 5 - About 2 F-words and its derivatives, 1 sexual reference, 4 scatological terms, 1 anatomical term, 5 mild obscenities, a boy uses a word in Spanish that is not translated and he acknowledges that it is a curse word, exclamations (full of it), name-calling (emotional slave, crazy, smug, liar, damaged, deceitful, manipulative, idiot, miserable, pumpkin head), 2 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman crushes up sleeping pills in a cup of tea and gives them to a girl. A man and a woman drink alcoholic drinks at a bar, and a woman is seen holding a glass of wine.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Child abuse and neglect, social workers, demonic possession, child psychology, Catholic faith, fear, revenge, criminal insanity, mental hospitals, prank phone calls, police investigation, child killing parents, suicide, abused turning on the abuser, Child Protective Services, personality disorders.

MESSAGE - Be sure to investigate a situation fully before drawing judgment.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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