Gothika Review

horror movies&stuff

[Gothika] (Story- A criminal psychologist Dr. Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) awakens to find herself a patient in the institution where she works, with no memory of the murder she's accused of committing. As she tries to regain her memory - and her freedom - a vengeful spirit manipulates her.) (Cast- Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr., Charles Dutton, John Carroll Lynch, Bernard Hill, PenÚlope Cruz, Dorian Harewood, Bronwen Mantel, Kathleen Mackey, Matthew G. Taylor, Michel Perron, Andrea Sheldon, Anana Rydvald, Laura Mitchell, Amy Sloan,) (My thoughts-Going into this film, I wasn't expecting anything extremely frightening based on previews I had seen. However, what I got, was a twisted thriller/drama mixed with a moderate horror element. Surprisingly enough, this is what made the film work.) (My review-The film starts off with Dr Grey (Berry) having a session with Chloe (Cruz). Chloe is talking to her about the devil. Miranda however thinks Chloe has crossed way over the insane line mentally, with these new stories and thoughts. Little does she know, Chloes story plays in intricate role in things to come. Miranda heads home after having a swim in the pool, but has to take a detour across a bridge due to a very violent rainstorm has flooded the road she usually takes home. On her detour route, she swerves to avoid a young girl who mysteriously appears in the middle of the road. Dr Grey gets out of her car, to help the girl. Once she approaches the girl, she bursts into flames but not before shes able to touch Dr Grey. In a matter of seconds, Dr Grey is now a patient in the mental hospital she works at, with little to no clue as to why or how she got there. The film from here basically plays out as a supernatural mystery. It's basically Dr Grey trying to find out how she wound up here, with help from her former co worker Pete Graham (Downey Jr.). He tells her that her husband is dead, and she killed him. Miranda is shocked seeing as how the last thing she can remember is the girl on the road in the storm. Pete despite Miranda killing her husband doesn't think shes as dangerous as everyone else does, but when she starts to wig out due to the fact that shes possessed by this wayward spirit, he starts to think maybe she is. Most of the movie hinges on the dead girl trying to communicate with Miranda to get her to piece together her murder, which was originally classified as a suicide due to the facts of the case. The key phrase she uses to do this, is *Not Alone*. Theres even one bloody scene in the shower where the girls spirit carves this message into Mirandas arm with a blade. There are some nice, freaky stigmata like moments in this movie, most of which occur when the dead girl appears before Miranda, angry that shes not solving her murder fast enough despite being given very little to go on. Mirandas father comes to visit her in the asylum. Hes basically the only person who wants anything to do with her anymore, but even he is a bit leary of her, after all she did brutally murder her own husband. The Sheriff who was her husbands best friend asks Miranda why she did it, but Miranda has no answers to something she can't remember. As the film continues, Miranda develops a relationship with Chloe, a person who she once labeled the craziest person in the asylum. During a visit to Dr Parsons, who Pete takes Miranda to to be evaluated by, she notices that one of the pictures on the wall is of the same girl she keeps having flashbacks about. Turns out, this is Dr Parsons daughter. Miranda insists she was murdered, and didn't commit suicide like the evidence suggested. Later on Chloe is raped by a man with a pergatory like tattoo. This tattoo somehow connects with the dead girl, her murder, and also makes Miranda realize Chloe was telling the truth when she spoke of the devil, during the session she conducted with her back at the beginning of the movie. With this new information, Miranda sets out determined to piece together this mystery. Things take a turn for the twisted as the film reaches it's end, and Miranda escapes the institution to return home hoping to find a clue about everything. We finally get to see the scene where Miranda murders her husband. We find out what "Not Alone" really meant, and how everything connects to Mirandas husband, and the sheriff. I won't give away details, but it's one big and extremely twisted revelation.) (What I liked about the movie-The settings were nice and spooky indeed. The asylum looked more like arkham from one of the "Batman" films, but it was much creepier. Also, it was an all female asylum which too sets it apart from Arkham. The ending was nicely done, and the revelation as to what was going on was very twisted which I liked. Berry and Downey Jr gave great performances as well. The music set the mood of the film nicely.) (What I didn't like-The film falls flat on action. Not much happens except mostly this dead girl getting pissed off and violently attacking Miranda in some scenes. This is really never explained. Was she just naturally vengeful because she was brutally murdered? Was she upset Miranda wasn't working fast enough to figure out what happened to her, or was it because the girl had tried to get through to Miranda, but being that Miranda is a doctor and a very educated woman, kept writing everything off as delusions or being irrational. Thus, maybe she felt the only way to get through to someone like Miranda, was to maime her a bit.) (Overall-I thought it was a good movie. As far as calling it a horror movie, it doesn't completely fall into that category IMO. It's basically your typical ghost possesses someone to use them as a tool of justice type movie. It's been done before, nothing new. It has horror elements, but it's more of a twisted thriller really, but again thats just my opinion. The film lacks action, however it gives you an intriguing mystery, which keeps you interested and awake despite the lack of anything really shocking happening. Then it turns it up a few notches, with a very outside the box climax. There most likely won't be a sequel to this film, although the ending tries very hard to suggest it, but fails and winds up looking similar to the ending from "Stir of Echoes" instead, except without the echoes.)