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Gothika (2003)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  21 November 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 84,738 users   Metascore: 38/100
Reviews: 370 user | 207 critic | 36 from

A repressed female psychiatrist wakes up as a patient in the asylum where she worked, with no memory of why she is there or what she has done.


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Title: Gothika (2003)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Phil Parsons
Teddy Howard
Bronwen Mantel ...
Rachel Parsons
Michel Perron ...
Glass Cell Nurse
Laura Mitchell ...


Dr. Miranda Grey is a psychiatrist who works in a penitentiary, in the mental institution sector. She is married with Dr. Douglas Grey, the chief of department where Dr. Pete Graham also works. Chloe Sava, a patient of Dr. Miranda formerly abused by her stepfather, claims that she is frequently raped by the devil in her cell. After leaving the asylum in a stormy night, Dr. Miranda has a car accident, and when she wakes up, she is an inmate of the institution, being accused of an horrible crime and having no memory of the incident. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Because someone is dead doesn't mean they're gone. See more »


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, brief language and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gotika  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$19,288,438 (USA) (21 November 2003)


$4,220,276 (Australia) (28 May 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert Downey Jr. and John Carroll Lynch later appeared together in Zodiac (2007). See more »


When Miranda arrives at the crime scene in her house after the great escape, her shirt is nearly dry, although she hid herself in the swimming pool a few minutes ago. See more »


[first lines]
Chloe: He came back again last night and tore me like paper. He opened me like a flower of pain, and it felt good. He sank into me and set me on fire, like he always does. Made me burn from the inside out.
Miranda: How did you know it was the devil?
See more »


Featured in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.4 (2009) See more »


Behind Blue Eyes
Written by Pete Townshend
Performed by Limp Bizkit
Courtesy of Flip/Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Don't believe the hype, this is worth a look
12 February 2005 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

Stars operating at the level of Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz are bound to disappoint critics along the way, especially when the critics are just waiting for some sign of weakness upon which to feed. While there is nothing wrong with any of the acting in this film - these are not the kinds of roles Oscar winners and nominees are expected to indulge in.

What's more, Berry and Cruz signed onto a film made by a production team which has typecast itself with some fairly disappointing ghost stories / horror films involving big-names in the recent past.

Finally, this is one of those cases where the trailer was so good that the film could not possibly follow it.

So what?

If you approach this film without expectations, and with an open mind, you will be entertained. It's a tight, disturbing psychological/supernatural thriller which, though a little predictable at times, nevertheless offers some frightening imagery and a few good solid scares. That said, this is not a film for people who have trouble paying attention or for people who need straightforward answers. If you don't really pay attention to what is going on in this film, you could easily dismiss it as a more adult version of Sixth Sense or just another dumb ghost story. This film deserves more credit than that.

Personally, I don't think it's a ghost story at all- but that is a question best left open.

I have seen a number of films by this team - House on Haunted Hill, 13 Ghosts and Ghost Ship. Of these, I found 13 Ghosts and the House on Haunted Hill to be entertaining, but not very intelligent. Ghost Ship was tremendously disappointing - even Gabriel Byrne could not save that film. Gothika is easily the best of the lot, and also the darkest. The film is shot in dark blue, black and gray tones, and the use of lighting is nothing short of artistic. Despite the cliché title, the occasional plot clichés, and all the negative publicity generated by critics, I found this film to be surprisingly entertaining, intelligent, and disturbing.

Most of the 'plot holes' cited by some reviewers here on IMDb are more likely gaps in the attention spans of the viewers themselves or intentional ambiguities designed by the production team. This, unlike any of this team's previous work, does not provide unambiguous explanations.

Cruz and Berry are, respectively, patient and psychiatrist in a high security prison for the criminally insane. The Gothic environment of this facility is not meant to be realistic, but surreal, and the effect works. From the first time you see the place, you question its own reality. The film constantly manipulates mood through cinematographic techniques like this.

Shortly after the film opens, Berry finds herself experiencing what some of her allegedly delusional patients talk to her about. Robert Downey's portrayal of her friend and, now, therapist, is uneven, but satisfactory.

To describe the rest of the plot would require spoilers, so I won't bother. Suffice to say that even the occasional predictability of this film did not detract from my enjoyment of it.

The film uses just enough ambiguity to permit the audience to wonder whether what they are seeing is really happening or whether it is a product of our protagonist's subconscious mind. And then, in the end, the film makes you question whether it matters.

143 of 176 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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