I was hoping this film was going to be an adaptation of Howie Mandell’s “Deal or No Deal”, where mysteriously in case #39 there was a demon or something like that. Sadly, I was quite mistaken. However, all you Hollywood bigwigs that read my blog, feel free to take my idea and turn it into a film, because I can guarantee you at least one ticket sold. Instead, this film is some bullshit starring Renee Zellweger and one of those guys from The Hangover, who I will always remember as “one of those guys from Wet Hot American Summer”. No discredit to Bradley Cooper, of course, but Wet Hot American Summer was just so awesome.
DON’T TRUST THIS LITTLE BITCH! Whoa, I haven’t called a little girl a bitch since I got out of work this afternoon.
Renee Zellweger plays Emily, a child services employee who has 38 open cases. THIRTY EIGHT! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! Well, she has one more case added to her agenda, which would make that case 39. And in case the name of the movie didn’t give it away, THIS IS ONE SPOOKY CASE! A little girl shows signs of neglect from her parents, so Emily investigates. Things just don’t seem to be going well, and Emily gets a late night call from the girl Lilly, played by Jodelle Ferland, and Emily intervenes just in time to stop the parents from cooking Lilly in the oven. In an attempt to take away all her sadness, fill her life with gladness, ease her troubles, that’s what she does. Oops, Rod Stewart break, sorry. I meant to say Emily takes Lilly home.
“So I’ll only ever be the father-you-never-had figure in your life? DAMMIT.”
Strange things then start happening, believe it or not. Other children in Emily’s cases murder their parents, strange phone calls, all the good stuff. Emily’s friend Doug, played by Bradley Cooper, tries to analyze Lilly, when she calls him out on being facile and having a fear of hornets, goes home all sad. That night he hallucinates that hornets are coming out of his ears and he apparently commits suicide, which is actually “death by invisible hornets”. After talking with Lilly’s biological parents, it is determined that Lilly is actually a demon (?) and must be killed. There’s scenes of Emily getting scared, the little girl acting all creepy, Emily setting her house on fire, and eventually kills Lilly, the little demon girl, by driving her car into a river and locking her in the trunk. Renee Zellweger – 1, Demon – a number that’s only slightly less than 1, because she did still kill a bunch of people.
Accidentally named this file “bardley cooper”. That’s way funnier than the blow job joke I was going to make.
I had some mixed feelings on this movie. A good portion of the movie, you just kind of assume something supernatural or paranormal is going on, and you totally buy it. Then it goes from “Something weird is going on” to “THIS BITCH IS A FUCKING DEMON AND NEEDS TO BE KILLED” and Renee Zellweger is all “OH COOL, I CAN DO THAT”. It’s similar to the movie “Mirrors”, where you take a basic concept of something spooky and supernatural, but then you come right out and explain the demons too late in the game, and it seems to lose all credibility. They also seemed to have taken an amalgam of different horror film concepts, threw them in a big blender, and hoped for the best. The idea of a weird orphan was a lot like Orphan, they somehow tied bad things happening with phone calls, which was reminiscent of The Ring, and a lot more subtle things that were harder to pinpoint the exact source. The hornet death scene took WAY too long, some of Renee Zellweger’s reactions were laughable, and the movie just took a turn in the wrong direction. I have to admit, it’s a pretty solid B-movie, but it is getting a theatrical release. Had this been a straight-to-video film, and the demon concept had been introduced a little earlier on, it could have been a lot more enjoyable.
“Thank God…it’s Volvo.”
Another message to the Hollywood bigwigs, DON’T CAST RENEE ZELLWEGER IN ANOTHER HORROR MOVIE EVER AGAIN. Not saying she is a bad actress, but she seems to be just a bit too vulnerable for horror. I thought she was going to start crying in the first five minutes, and nothing scary had even happened. Bradley Cooper was enjoyable, or at least it was enjoyable to see him playing something other than a smooth talking wiseass. And Jodelle was pretty good as the little girl, but not quite as good as Isabelle Fuhrman who played Esther in Orphan. One actor who was completely used incorrectly was Ian McShane. Don’t get me wrong, Ian McShane is FUCKING AWESOME. He played a cop, and he kicked the shit out of one guy, and punched a woman, but his role was weird. Somehow, he was best friends with Emily, but he is WAY older than her. I kept expecting them to reveal that they were related, or maybe there was an affair, because why the fuck would IAN GODDAMNED MCSHANE be friends with such a whiney baby? He kept doing all these favors for her, and was willing to offer assistance when it came down to killing Lilly. Emily was all “I think this girl’s a demon and I need to kill her” and Ian McShane was all “OK COOL NO PROBLEM I HAVE A SHOTGUN”.
Wolfman Moon Scale