Grade : B –
After House on Haunted Hill, Thirteen Ghosts and Ghost Ship (notice a pattern?), Dark Castle Entertainment releases its latest attempt at scaring audiences world-wide. Shot in and around Montreal, Gothika is sure to be gathering crowds for that sole factor. We sure do love to see our streets on the big screen: especially with Halle Berry on them.
Berry plays Miranda Grey, a brilliant psychiatrist working in a high-security penitentiary for women. Everyday, she treats murderesses like Chloe, a woman who killed her stepfather and now believes she is being raped by Satan. Like Satan has time to waste with this greasy-haired woman wearing a titillating grey prisoner suit and her great-grandmother’s vest.
One day, Miranda wakes up on the other side of the bars. It turns out that three days earlier, she headed home after work and brutally murdered her husband with an axe. She has been in a post-traumatic coma ever since.
All Miranda can remember from that night is crashing her car in an attempt to avoid a girl standing in the middle of the road. She even identifies the girl as the daughter of one of her fellow psychiatrists.
The only problem is, this girl has committed suicide a few years earlier. Miranda’s incoherent blabbering does not measure up to all the evidence piling up against her.
As she tries to convince everyone that she is not crazy, Miranda will follow a trail of mysterious clues through haunting appearances from the dead girl, often coming close to doubting of her own sanity.
The whole movie lies on Halle Berry’s frail shoulders. Can she handle such responsibility? Almost.
Fresh from her Monster’s Ball Oscar, she delivers an above-average performance in a movie that would otherwise be dull. Robert Downey Jr. and Pen