Renee Zellweger stars as a social worker investigating an abusive family with the intention of saving the young daughter (Jodelle Ferland), but slowly comes to realize that she is the one in danger as she continues digging into the situation.
Unsettling questions abound that feed into the current frenzy for occult elements in the horror genre. With all of the hauntings and exorcisms taking over our screens, is the apocalypse upon us? The girl’s parents come across like Christian fundamentalists or evil satanists, eager to roast their daughter in the oven, but is she really as innocent and cute (and creepy) as she appears?
There might have been a fun and freaky avenue to explore if the movie had focused more on the parents, but that route gets bypassed for the demonic kid expressway, which has far too many signs pointing in the obvious direction of recent fare like Orphan.
Zellweger, Bradley Cooper and Ian McShane should have heeded the warnings plastered along the way here before getting caught in this soul-draining cold case. Grade: D-
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