GOTHIKA (2003)


Elizabeth (spoilers!)

Something we see so often in terrible movies is that it takes place in what is supposed to be our world (ie, not science fiction or fantasy) and yet bears no resemblance to our actual world.

Like in Gothika, when psychiatrist Dr. Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) is accused of killing her husband not only is she placed in the same mental hospital where she works, but placed under the care of her close personal friend and co-worker, Dr. Pete Graham (Robert Downey, Jr.). I’m sorry. No. So much of the conflict in this movie comes from “OOoo the doctor is now the patient how is she going to deal with that!” but considering that would never fucking happen it really takes a lot of the suspense out.

Here’s another thing: one of Miranda’s patients, Chloe (Penélope Cruz), who is in the hospital because she murdered her abusive rapist step-father, constantly claims that she is being raped in the hospital. Miranda dismisses her every time, as does everyone else. But . . . would you really dismiss claims like that without checking? As Chloe’s doctor, doesn’t Miranda have an obligation to Chloe to check it out? Chloe is already a mental patient so it seems unfair to just write it off as her being crazy. And it’s not as if this is a fortress in which men cannot enter. Because surprise, surprise, Chloe is being raped, but Miranda doesn’t believe her until she’s a patient and sees it happening in Chloe’s cell herself. Way to drop the fucking ball, Miranda!

Turns out, Miranda got possessed by a ghost who then used her body to kill Miranda’s husband. Miranda remembers murdering him, but nothing else about motivation. Conveniently, Miranda escapes from the hospital and also remembers this cabin she and her husband bought that apparently she never really went to. She goes there and finds a bloody bed in the basement with all kinds of scary tools and a camera. She rewinds the camera (and clearly sees her husband in the frame while she rewinds but I guess we just pretend that she didn’t see it) and plays it back, only to find that it’s showing her husband torturing and presumably murdering a girl. The cops break in to catch Miranda, but when they do a not-dead girl pops up from the basement where she’s apparently somehow been hiding the whole time after being a victim of Miranda’s husband.

Miranda goes to jail where she talks to her husband’s best friend, who’s a cop. She starts giving a “profile” of someone who would do the things her husband did, which basically is like “Tortured animals when he was a kid,” which isn’t something you need a degree in psychiatry to guess about. Lo and behold, Miranda realizes her husband’s friend fits the profile and also has the same chest tattoo of the man he saw raping Chloe. He attacks Miranda and she kills him.

CUT TO MIRANDA AND CHLOE JUST CHILLIN ON THE STREET!! Yes, at the end of all of this, Miranda and Chloe are just back in the outside world, totally well-adjusted and ready to live life. Every time we saw Chloe before this she was barely functioning and acted like she was on PCP or something. And Miranda straight up murdered two people (albeit one in self-defense). Because their quick release would, again, never fucking happen, it feels like the filmmakers just cut to them walking around on the street instead of trying to explain how that could ever happen. I mean, the entire movie we see Chloe like this:


Only to suddenly see her in the end like this:


Okay cool, makes sense!

This movie really isn’t bad enough to be funny or interesting. It’s just really fucking stupid.


I really only wanted to watch this movie because I vividly remember when the trailer for this came out. From what I remember it was Halle Berry’s first movie after Monster’s Ball and I feel like people were anxiously awaiting this hoping it would be another hit. After watching the movie I can see why it went nowhere.

This movie was bad but the worst part about it was how often the film wanted us to ignore stuff so they could continue the story. The worst part about this movie is how EVERYONE is connected. Halle Berry’s character is a psychiatrist and she works with mentally unstable people all day long. However, one day she is possessed and ends up in the mental hospital herself. However, instead of going to another one she just ends up in the one she worked out. So her friends are now her doctors and nurses and she is now caged up with all the people she was helping. I am all for supernatural elements in a film but to add in all this other unbelievable real life stuff was just way too much. It was hard not to think, ”This would never happen” in every single scene.

The most shocking part of the film was how many celebrities were actually in the film. Not worth watching at all, however, I’m glad I saw it just so I can talk shit about it. Cause everyone still talks about this movie, right?

One thought on “GOTHIKA (2003)

  1. Ha I thought the same thing. This would never happen. It felt so contrived to me and a cop out just to make the drama happen. That said, I watched it until the end and I was definitely sitting in the dark gnawing on my blanket in fear.

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