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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Psychodrama embedded in horror movie
As implied by its' name this is a dark, dark movie, but the impact comes from it being a psychodrama played out in grim claustrophobic sets in a mental institution bathed in a subtle foreboding blue grey light.

The real fascination of the plot is that Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) an outstanding psychiatrist working in a penal institute for the criminally insane...
Published on 13 Dec 2006 by Amazon Customer

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promises much, but ��
*** couple of mild spoilers ***
I genuinely enjoyed the first 20 minutes or so of Gothika. The theme of the psychiatrist's (competently if never entirely convincingly played by Halle Berry) world turning on its head in horrible fashion, was a compelling one and I was really looking forward to a taut psychological thriller. Instead, soon thereafter, the movie...
Published on 30 July 2005 by Cartimand


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Psychodrama embedded in horror movie, 13 Dec 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gothika [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
As implied by its' name this is a dark, dark movie, but the impact comes from it being a psychodrama played out in grim claustrophobic sets in a mental institution bathed in a subtle foreboding blue grey light.

The real fascination of the plot is that Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) an outstanding psychiatrist working in a penal institute for the criminally insane is suddenly and for reasons she cannot understand finds herself incarcerated in the same institute, with inmates she has previously been responsible for.

Everything is seen from Miranda Grey's point of view and Halle Berry's fine acting draws you right into her character, her horror as she discovers first hand the problems her patients inmates from the their perspective.

Outstanding production values, fine direction and acting make this an intriguing view.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong supernatural non-shock horror, 15 Dec 2006
This review is from: Gothika [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
There's a feeling among some people that for a horror to be effective there's got to be lots of shocks and plenty of blood and guts. The converse of this is the psychological thriller which can be just as unsettling and thought-provoking.

This is one of those. There's a supernatural edge to the psychological turmoil, and also at the centre is some real deceptions and personal tragedy due to relationships. In this, it is effective in being disturbing and chilling.

I think appreciation of this is whether you like this vein of cinema, because it is a well-paced plot with a good level of viewer deception and plot levels. Acting is great, and it's creatively told and shot. It also stands up to a further viewing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 1 Nov 2011
By 
Victoria Hill (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gothika [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Gothika is a dark, terrifying film that is set mainly in the confines of a mental institute, where the lead character, a top psychiatrist, battles to save her sanity and find out the truth about a mysterious girl that seems to be haunting her. Throughout the film, we are made to wonder if she is simply losing her mind or if the mysterious girl is actually trying to send her messages from beyond her grave.

Being set in a secure mental institute, some of the scenes brought about a sense of claustrophobia, which I think really upped the scare factor, especially when Miranda was being tormented by brief, flashing images of the girl. It also makes you wonder if there's really any way out for her, whether she will succomb to madness or the clutches of the girl.

The music, the suspense, the camera angles, the actors and the disjointed time-frames made this film one of the scariest films I've ever seen. I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good psychological thriller.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This ghost story puts Halle Berry through the wringer, 2 May 2004
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
"Gothika" is one of those movies that is not as bad as you heard that it was although certainly it has some major problems. For one thing the movie tries so relentlessly to be eerie with all the spooky lighting and music that it threatens to be carried along by the style rather than the substance. Then there is the fact that we know that in the "real world" a prison psychiatrist is not going to end up in the same prison where they practiced if the world decides that they are insane. Doing so would mess up the treatment of every patient she had been working with, so we know that Halle Berry's Miranda Grey is there for a reason, which gets us thinking ahead of the plot and trying to figure out whodunnit. Is director Mathieu Kassovitz being so heavy handed that he is obvious or is he skillfully setting up a red herring? Good question. You can answer it for yourself after you see the film.
Miranda is a psychiatrist in a dark and dreary prison where we are introduced to her as she is working with patient Chloe Sava (Penelope Cruz). Miranda seems clinical and cool, if not cold. One of the other staff psychiatrists, Pete Graham (Robert Downey Jr.) seems interested in her, but she has recently wed her boss, Dr. Douglas Grey (Charles S. Dutton). That night, after taking a swim in the prison pool, she drives home during a thunderstorm and is forced to take a detour. The figure of a ghostly girl appears in the middle of the road and Miranda crashes her car. Miranda tries to help the girl, who looks like she has been the victim of something horrible, but then the girl bursts into flames. The next thing Miranda knows she wakes up a prisoner in her own institution where she is told by Pete that she has been accused of brutally murdering her husband with an axe. Miranda remembers nothing.
Chloe explains to Miranda that once you are declared to be officially insane anything you say will automatically be considered to be the ravings of a lunatic. Miranda is put in the impossible position of convincing her captors that she is sane. However, that is really not much of a problem because she is so distraught and confused that she convinces both herself and the viewers that maybe she is insane, and if that is true, then maybe it is true that she killed her husband. Berry's performance bounces back and forth between screaming hysteria and a guarded detachment in an effort to survive everything that is being thrown at her by not only the authorities trying to convict her of murder but also of her own mind. For those that thought Berry's Oscar for "Monster's Ball" did not prove she was a real actress, "Gothika" proves she is clearly more than a pretty face.
There is a paradox in this film, what some may consider a fatal flaw, in that in the final analysis all of the pieces do not fit. Even once you know what is going on it does not really explain everything that is happening. Watch the film a second time and you will see this is clearly the case. However I think this was really more a question of keeping us guessing rather than having problems with story construction. Kassovitz and screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez are developing a sense of mystery and terror that literally extends to the end of the film where the final scene provides another piece of what is really an unfinished puzzle. Listen to Kassovitz's commentary on this DVD and he will repeatedly talk about what they did to make individual scenes scary, without a clear regard for what it meant for the logic of the film. Either you buy into the end result or this movie is going to grossly offend you. There probably is not going to be any middle ground on this one.
Final Note: Kassovitz earns points by filming a group shower scene with Berry, Cruz, and over a dozen other women that is totally in keeping with the atmosphere of the film. These women are all naked, but the scene is filmed in such a way that they are not nude (that will make sense when you see it). When that scene started I was mentally rolling my eyes at what I thought was going to be coming up next and Kassovitz simply did not go there. That says something.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am not a Halle Berry Fan, 13 Aug 2008
This review is from: Gothika [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
I am not a Halle Berry Fan in fact I was not even going to watch it as I had bought the triple Identity / Gothika / House Of Nine ASIN: B000AYQJ6U but thought - why not .

I am man enough to admit that I made a mistake as Gothika was the best out of the Triple and Berry is not just a Bimbo and to be fair she was not all that Bad in Catwoman either.

I am not a huge fan of Horror/Thriller but this was one of the best.

minus points are - not enough of Bernard Hill
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Chiller I Have Seen In A Long Time, 14 July 2005
By 
S. Mangan-Taylor "strawberrybounce2005" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Gothika [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
Most chiller films I have watched recently have been pretty poor but Gothika certainly scores high on my list.
The atmosphere which is portrayed throughout the film is excellent and extremely nail biting and there are certainly some jump out of your seat moments.
The characters are very believable and the acting from both Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz was of top quality.
Definitely a film a I would recommend you to watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Halle Berry at her best, 11 July 2005
By 
This review is from: Gothika [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This stunning portrayal of a woman confused about what the truth of her situation is one portrayed to perfection by Miss Berry. It's stands out as one of the films of the time being one more that plays on your mind rather cheap thrills that many portray today. One well worth watching as it holds a very strong cast with a very noteable performance from Penelope Cruz.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promises much, but ��, 30 July 2005
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Gothika [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
*** couple of mild spoilers ***
I genuinely enjoyed the first 20 minutes or so of Gothika. The theme of the psychiatrist's (competently if never entirely convincingly played by Halle Berry) world turning on its head in horrible fashion, was a compelling one and I was really looking forward to a taut psychological thriller. Instead, soon thereafter, the movie plummets disappointingly into formulaic and derivative grand guignol. I mean, how many times have us horror buffs seen the tired old it's behiiiiind you or the something-scary-in-the-swimming-pool routine? Irritatingly over-gratuitous use of strobe lighting also makes Gothika uncomfortable viewing for all the wrong reasons.
Hat-tips to (or rip-offs from, depending on how generous you feel) other movies are plentiful, and I was reminded of Suspiria, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dead and Buried, 6th Sense, Stir of Echoes, and probably dozens more.
Most on-the-ball viewers will guess whodunit well before the predictable and anti-climactic ending.
Gothika is just saved from being a lone-star movie by the promising beginning, decent soundtrack and Penelope Cruz's excellent depiction of a troubled mind.
On the whole though, this is yet another disappointing offering from the Dark Castle label.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What does GOTHIKA mean!!!!, 14 Aug 2004
This review is from: Gothika [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
This is an awkward one... I really enjoyed the film. Great acting, nice direction and some excellent scences that will scare and impress you.
However the script, although plot-wise very good, leaves too many questions hanging in the air. For some reason after watching the film, I felt there were scenes cut from the film. There were to many things un-answered. Not impressive. The result: a good movie that was all a bit strange.
For example, Halle Berrys character is speeding in the night in a car she has just borrowed. Reaching dangerous speeds, the breaks are not working. She is left in a scary situation which ultimately provide many thrills for the audience. However, it just makes no sense. Suddenly the breaks work and Halles character is fine. Mmmm... very weird.
The plot and storyline is very good. But the director just misses far to much. To many things un-answered leaves to many questions to be asked. Why!?!?!
If you enjoy a good thriller/horror this film is excellent. There are some electrifying scences, supurb acting and great visuals. However, if you like films that seem realistic and make sense - this might not be for you. Tread cautiosly.
And the final words...what is GOTHIKA. The film doesnt even explain this. Case closed!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Could have been a decent film, 27 Jun 2014
This review is from: Gothika (Amazon Instant Video)
Was interesting then completely ruined by the manner in which you find out what is going on.
A film to appeal to those who require unsophisticated plots twists.
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Gothika [UMD Mini for PSP]
Gothika [UMD Mini for PSP] by Mathieu Kassovitz (UMD Mini for PSP - 2006)
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