I don't get why everyone hates on this movie so much. Sure, it's cheesy, but I've seen far (far far far) worse. The basic premise has been done a few times. A little girl is born,but she's no ordinary little girl. She has powers and is clearly special, and some evil force wants to either turn her to the dark side or sacrifice her to the devil (or some approximation thereof). There's not much original there, but the little girl Cody, played by Holliston Coleman, is in the hands of a very good actress, so she helps breathe new life into this tired premise. She plays another little girl besieged by evil religious people in "Charisma," a great episode of the TV show SVU, so she seems to be drawn to roles where she's tormented by evil religious leaders. Here, her character is strong-willed and we root for her to beat the bad guys, or at least I root for her, and that makes the movie easier for me to take.
i think we're supposed to see Maggie, the woman who raises Cody, as a skeptic who slowly starts to believe, but really, she goes from zero to instant belief in my eyes, so there's not much of a transformation. But Kim Basinger does a good job with her role, so I don't much care. I like how she takes on the mother role and comes to love Cody as her own. Jimmy Smits isn't the world's best actor, but he's fine here as the cop trying to make sense of all this supernatural claptrap. And Rufus Sewell is such an evil fucking asshole here. SERIOUSLY. Does he EVER play a character who isn't a total tool? Anyway, I love to hate him, so I don't mind him in this movie. Angela Bettis is also good here as Cody's birth mother who falls right into an evil trap. the movie even has Christina Ricci as a street kid who warns Maggie about the evil that's after Cody. How this movie attracted to many bigger name actors is beyond me, but it's the acting that saves this sinking ship.
Honestly, I can't recommend this one because so many people hate it, and I guess I can sort of see why. The CGI demons and the like are trying to my patience and the premise is old and tired and...yeah,a lot of it sucks. But I love the actors and I connected with the characters, so the movie works for me. I still don't think it's as bad as everyone says it is.