Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Gothika

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
3 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: R

Starring:
Halle Berry as Miranda Grey
Robert Downey Jr as Pete Graham
Charles Dutton as Douglas Grey
John Carroll Lynch as Sheriff Ryan
Bernard Hill as Phil Parsons
Penelope Cruz as Chloe Sava
Dorian Harewood as Teddy Howard
Bronwen Mantel as Irene
Kathleen Mackey as Rachel Parsons
Matthew G Taylor as Turlington
Michel Perron as Joe
Andrea Sheldon as Tracey Seavers
Anana Rydvald as Glass Cell Nurse

Special Features:
Commentary by director Mathieu Kassovitz and director of photography Matthew Libatique

Limp Bizkit music video

Other Info:
Anamorphic Widescreen

Synopsis:
Dr. Miranda Grey is a psychologist working at Woodward Penitentiary for Women. Under the direction of her husband Doug, the chief administrator of the psychiatric ward, Miranda treats disturbed patients like Chloe, a murderer whose confessions of satanic torture are dismissed by Miranda as paranoia.

Miranda's world is turned upside down after a chance encounter with a young girl near a bridge one rainy evening. Following the meeting, Miranda finds she has become a patient in her own prison hospital - Her husband has been murdered and she is the number one suspect. She must use her instincts and help from co-workers to figure out the riddle of what has happened.

Gothika is rated R for violence, brief language and nudity.

The Movie:
Gothika is a decent supernatural thriller. It looks appropriately creepy, it has good acting, and it provides some truly spooky moments. The only problem with it is that it is very predictable. You can figure out about 80% of the plot within the first 20 minutes. Except for the lingering questions of who the accomplices are, you can guess everything but the details. Because of that, Gothika ends up being entertaining but it never rises to the next level. If you've seen What Lies Beneath, then you've seen a very similar film to this (which is ironic since Robert Zemeckis produced this film). In fact, the ending of this movie inexplicably rips off The Sixth Sense and it doesn’t fit the rest of the film.

Halle Berry is good as the psychiatrist who has the tables turned on her and ends up a patient in her own hospital. Not only must she deal with her former patients, but she must face off with a ghost as well. Berry looks appropriately scared, confused, and freaked out at all the right moments. You also buy her as a top notch psychiatrist. Bernard Hill is good as the grieving father Phil Parsons. While he is shoved in the background of this movie, he still delivers a good enough performance. Robert Downey Jr is pretty good as fellow psychiatrist Pete Graham, but he never really breaks loose and does something to stand out. The same goes for Charles Dutton as Douglas Grey. All of these people are fine actors, but Berry is the only one that gets to do something significant with her role. Penelope Cruz was also OK as the patient Chloe Sava, but I wasn't dazzled by anything she did on screen.

The film looks great. From what I understand, they filmed at a real prison in Canada. It is quite a spooky location. Overall, though, Gothika is a decent creepy movie, but there's nothing remarkable here to see.

The Extras:
This DVD is incredibly light on the extras:

Commentary by director Mathieu Kassovitz and director of photography Matthew Libatique – This is a very dry, boring commentary. The director and the DP go on and on about camera setups, sets, and other mundane details for the average moviegoer. There's little discussion of the actual plot or acting. They do point out moments where computer animation was used in the film in a subtle way, so that's cool. (For example, a needle from a syringe was a CG addition because it would have been too close to Berry’s eye.) Otherwise, there's not much here worth checking out.

Limp Bizkit music video – This is the music video for their remake of "Behind Blue Eyes" which played in the credits. The video is an elaborate production featuring Halle Berry and the lead singer acting out roles in a prison scene. It gets a bit weird at times (with Berry even lip synching to the lyrics in the man's voice), but it does seem to fit the mood of the movie.

The Bottom Line:
Gothika is probably worth at least a rental to check it out. The extras aren't anything special, though.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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