Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Case 39

I move on from such depressing information. It is catch up time and I begin with Case 39 a film which interests because if features a child care protection social worker and team. The film stars much admired Renée Zellweger as the idealistic and missionary doing best for the child care work and Ian McShane as a Police Detective, with the third member of the closely working trio is a psychiatrist played by Bradley Cooper.

Case 39 is a referred child who appears withdrawn, and not eating and when the worker investigates the behaviour of the child indicates abuse and of her parents meriting close examination. With difficulty the worker establishes a connection with the ten year old child who phones her later one evening saying she is fearing for her life. Before then, teh worker’s seniors and the police advise that they cannot intervene without some evidence of abuse. After receiving the call the two gain entry by breaking into the house where they find the parents trying to kill the child in the oven after having dug a grave in the basement. The parents are locked up in psychiatric institutions unfit to plead and the child placed in a short term residential unit prior to finding foster parents. She persuades Renée to provide her a home until foster parents can be found and for a short while the arrangement works to the satisfaction of both.

Things then begin to develop in strange and unexpected ways and shortly after the child starts to attend and a counselling group, one of the boys in the group murders his parents after receiving call which appears to come from the home of the worker. Because the child is suspected of being involved she has a psychiatric evaluation with Bradley Cooper during which the child elicits that his fear is that of bees. When he is back home he receives a call which is the sound of bees and then the horror begins as bees start to come out of his ear and other parts of his body in ever increasing numbers although he appears to get rid of individual ones down the toilet bowl. Eventually he manages to snap his own neck and dies.

This incident arouses even more concern especially after Renée finds that the girl has been examining her private possessions and records. She visits the former home of the girl and her parents and finds that they have strengthened their bedroom door and have also place several substantial bolts to lock themselves in. She visits the psychiatric institution where the parents are being held with both self abusing from fears which the staff do not experience. The husband reveals that everyone connected with them, parents, their two other children and friends all died in what they regarded as suspicious circumstances. The father explains that they did not regard the girl as their daughter but some evil creature. Having moved in on Renée they are fearful that the girl will now get rid of them. They had to wait several months before making the attempt to kill the girl as she was able to read their minds and they had to wait until they were able to drug her to sleep. Both parents then die in mysterious circumstances.

Renée attempts to speed up the search for foster parents and she then goes for help to her Detective friend who at first dismisses her concern but then discovers that there was a phone to the Psychiatrist from Renée’s cell phone after she has removed the landline phone. The Detective is then besieged by killer hounds when he leaves his office and after finding one of the creatures sitting behind him in his car he attempts to shoot but manages to blow part of his head off.

The girl becomes more open towards Renée ordering her to do as she is told. Renee concludes that the only way is to kill the herself and manages to drug her to sleep and then sets fire on the house. But the girl reappears and the two are escorted by the police to a temporary place to spend the rest of the night. Renée goes off at speed in a different direct trying to frighten the girl and the girl retaliates with a psychic horror memory of the past. At this point the worker has become so desperate that she locks the car and drives off the levee into the water. The child has now emerged in its true demon form and there is a fight in which Renée is able to escape. During the making of the film the set and studio were destroyed by fire and although the cast were present no one was seriously injured. The release of the films was also beset with difficulties in the various countries where it was shown. The film has been much criticised and failed to attract audiences and just about broken even from its original $27 million. I found it a convincing portrayal of how minds can appear to influence other minds to self harm or commit untypical acts of behaviour. This is not the first films which has used telephone or the television to send subliminal messages getting people to act against themselves or other members of society.

No comments:

Post a Comment