Gothika (2003)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 2003.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Warner Bros., Dark Castle Entertainment.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

You know you’re in trouble when the supernatural element of the screenplay is the least far-fetched part of your movie. Halle Berry gives a terrific performance as a brilliant psychiatrist at an insane asylum who, the day following a car accident, wakes up to find herself an inmate in the institution where she once worked and accused of murdering her husband. At first nearly falling apart from the incredible situation she finds herself in, Berry eventually decides to get to work at finding out what really happened to both her and her spouse (), all the while trying not to be creeped out by the frequent apparition of a rather ghostly young woman who may have something to do with what’s going on.  Penelope Cruz has probably her first compelling role since coming to Hollywood as one of Berry’s fellow patients, who ends up becoming her friend and shedding some light on the case. Mathieu Kassovitz has good fun with creative camera work and putting on some genuinely scary moments, but the film’s last third is hokey and the finale makes absolutely no sense to a logical viewer. The plot holes are far too unforgivable, and render the film a routine exercise in the genre of Hollywood thrillers.

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