A salvage crew that discovers a long-lost 1962 passenger ship floating lifeless in a remote region of the Bering Sea soon notices, as they prepare to tow it back to land, that "strange things" happen...
Jigsaw locks a few unlucky people in a booby trapped shelter and they must find a way out before they inhale too much of a lethal nerve gas and die. But they must watch out, for the traps Jigsaw has set in the shelter lead to death also.
Darren Lynn Bousman
A criminal psychologist awakens to find herself a patient in the institution where she works, with no memory of the murder she's accused of committing. As she tries to regain her memory - and her freedom - a vengeful spirit manipulates her. Written by
Halle Berry broke her arm filming a scene with Robert Downey Jr.. Downey was supposed to grab her arm and twist but twisted too hard and the arm snapped. Production was halted for eight weeks. 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 »
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.
How did you know it was the devil?
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Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) is a doctor at a psychiatric prison. On the way home one evening, she has to take a detour, and has a supernatural experience that winds up with her being an inmate in the same psychiatric prison, now a patient of her former colleague, Pete Graham (Robert Downey, Jr.). Gothika is an exploration of what happened to Miranda, as she gradually uncovers a mystery.
This was a very effective combination of a horror film and a suspense/thriller for me. I rated it a 9 out of 10, only subtracting one point for a somewhat awkward beginning. While it's not anything particularly groundbreaking, films do not need to be unprecedented for me to enjoy them a lot and give them high ratings.
Visually, Gothika follows the late 90s/early 00s trend of desaturated films that have a predominant color--blue in this case. It creates an atmosphere that works very well for a horror/suspense film of this type, and that is heightened by the Gothic sets and production design (the one shot we get of the exterior of the psychiatric prison makes it look like an old castle). Although the overall structure is more along the lines of a pedestrian thriller, the film adeptly weaves horror and unusual stylistic elements throughout its length, creating a whole greater than the sum of its parts. The performances are good, and the script and direction will keep you guessing most of the time. My only other slight negative criticism is that the ending is somewhat abrupt and could be seen as leaving some loose threads. However, it wasn't enough of a misstep that I subtracted another point--my score remains 9 out of 10.
This is a Dark Castle film, so it's perhaps not surprising that some of the horror-related effects have a similarity to Thirteen Ghosts (2001), House on Haunted Hill (1999) and Ghost Ship (2002). It's also a safe bet that if you liked those films (I loved all three), and the idea of melding them with a thriller, you'll like Gothika as well.
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