out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4
At the Woodward Penitentiary for Women, Dr. Miranda Grey (Oscar-winner
Halle Berry) is a highly respected criminal psychologist who works with her
husband (Charles S. Dutton), the chief administrator of the psychiatric ward.
Driving home late one stormy night, she crashes her car to avoid hitting a
distraught young girl whose body mysteriously bursts into flames. When she
awakens, Miranda discovers she's incarcerated behind thick glass doors at
Woodward and accused of brutally killing her husband. While she realizes that
the ability to repress is a vital survival tool, the only people who will
listen to her distorted rantings are a sympathetic former colleague, Dr. Pete
Graham (Robert Downey Jr.), and a dangerously disturbed patient, Chloe
(Penelope Cruz), who seems to be having similar difficulties distinguishing
reality from fantasy.
At first, Miranda claims, "I am a rational person. I don't believe in the
paranormal and I don't believe in ghosts." Then, after a few lurid
hallucinations, it comes down to: "I'm not deluded. I'm possessed." In-between
are several silly dashes up and down the atmospheric labyrinth of corridors as
she desperately tries to fit together the pieces of a bizarre psychological
puzzle that ultimately involves ludicrous sadistic torture and a strange anima
Written by Sebastian Gutierrez, directed by France's Mathieu Kassovitz
and photographed by Matthew Libatique, "Gothika" chooses style over substance.
Unintentional laughter is evoked, and there's some heavy-duty irony watching
seriously addicted actor Robert Downey Jr. dispensing drugs. On the Granger
Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Gothika" loses its grip with a psychobabbling 4.
Copyright © 2003 Susan Granger
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