After an accident, a psychiatrist wakes up to find she's been committed
to the asylum where she works, with no memory of what happened.
Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz
Written by Sebastian Gutierrez
Starring Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr., Penélope Cruz,
Charles S. Dutton, John Carroll Lynch, Bernard Hill
I remember Gothika from back in the day. It looked like an intriguing movie. When I saw it was on Netflix, I figured what the hell, let's give it a shot. While this horror mystery is nowhere near as bad as Rotten Tomatoes says it is, Gothika has its problems. The cast is brilliant and the premise is unique, but the problem lies in the execution. There are few surprises to be had, mostly because the film is pretty easy to predict from the moment we see our first ghost. In the right hands, this one could've been special, especially with all the talent they've got in front of the camera.
Halle Berry is Dr. Miranda Grey, a psychiatrist who nearly hits a woman walking in the road and suddenly wakes up in the mental asylum where she works, only now she's a patient. Her husband is dead, and she's been accused of his murder. With a ghost supposedly haunting her, she must figure out what really happened, why her husband was killed, and how this ghost is connected to the murder. Miranda's adventure to escape the asylum is the best part of the film, but I feel like the murder investigation should've been expanded on more. Sure, things take off once we learn the why, but the third act is nonsensical in its plot twist that seems to not only be painfully obvious, but insultingly impossible to pull off in a police station without witnesses. I won't spoil it, but it just about kills the movie.
Gothika serves as one of many post-Oscar bombs that Halle Berry did in the early 2000's, though it's good to see Robert Downey Jr. was still able to get work after his release from prison, and he does a fine job even though I wanted his character to be more endearing. There's a lot to like about this film, but there's also a lot dragging it down. It could've used a stronger antagonist and a non-supernatural angle would've aided greatly. I love ghosts as much as the next guy, but they didn't really fit in this grounded world.