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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.38%
Worth A Look32.98%
Average: 21.28%
Pretty Bad: 22.34%
Total Crap: 17.02%

5 reviews, 64 user ratings

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by Greg Muskewitz

"Exercises in ambiance."
4 stars

A minor spook in the form of a ghost story, concerning Halle Berry as a psychiatrist in a mental ward, who ends up as a patient herself following a crime she cannot recall.

The set up and lead in to that point borders between the suspenseful and the mundane. As Berry attempts to leave her isolated jobsite the night in question, it is typically hampered by a torrential downpour, her usual travel route is shut down, and of course, the place is miles away from any sign of life. However, the first sight of that other life, a girl in a nightie in the middle of the road, causes her to swerve into a ditch. The atmosphere increases as Berry approaches the girl, and bursts afire when touched — cut to Berry awakening in confinement. Much of the garnered suspense is directly a key element of the trippy look and the sound of the film — the general uneasiness of the blue hue that cloaks the image (courtesy of Matthew Libatique), the camera’s ability to pass through surfaces (in and out of the glass enclosures), the dubbed whispers, the excellently creepy score. (Great ambience was achieved alone in the scene where Berry enters a hallway to the undulating flickering of florescent lights.) And naturally, there is some assistance from the effects, the slowing down of the rainfall until it begins to go backwards, the combustion of the girl upon contact, etc. Still helpful is the dramatic irony that we know more than they do — not much more than those who doubt Berry’s character, already forced into a volte-face about the supernatural from her training and education — but it’s a compelling frustration that clearly something is at work here, however it will play out. Too soon before the end, it becomes predictable in its path of direction despite the intangibility of the ghostly presence, but not before throwing in a genuine twist or two. Gothika is hardly a substantial or memorable entry to the genre of ghost films, but its technical polish serves as more than just dazzling décor. Directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. With Charles S. Dutton, John Carroll Lynch, Robert Downey, Jr., and Penélope Cruz.


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originally posted: 05/13/04 08:05:06
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell passable has some scares 3 stars
5/02/10 Doug Horrible 1 stars
1/23/09 Psychotic angel Cold shrink learns empathy, but the movie is not very good. 2 stars
9/16/08 janie this movie scared the crap out of me..but very good plot. 4 stars
8/29/08 Shaun Wallner Well Made! 4 stars
6/26/08 Mario Mediocre movie thats not very scary. 2 stars
5/14/08 me Hey man it was a great movie. sit back and relax and try not to be so literal. 5 stars
5/03/08 mb Too Trippy 2 stars
2/28/07 Beau it was shockingly disturbing and it had great acting it had good drama and suspense 4 stars
2/28/07 Stanley Thai One of the great things is that this film looks great and has some chills and thrills. 4 stars
12/28/06 David Pollastrini a bit slow 2 stars
4/30/06 TLoop I liked this movie a lot, great atmoshere & color scheme 4 stars
9/20/05 Carolyn Rathburn I loved this one, just enough drama and suspense 5 stars
9/01/05 ES If it stars Hallie Berry in anything other than a supporting role leave it alone 1 stars
8/12/05 Sully definitely scary...lots of tension and twists....good flick 4 stars
6/09/05 Enrico If you see it in a dark room with a projector and a good audio, like me, it is AWESOME! 5 stars
5/23/05 Steve Newman I agree with the review by Holland. I thought th emusic first class - enjoyable & watchable 4 stars
4/02/05 Cynthia Willingham This is stupid. I laughed at the 'scary' parts. 1 stars
3/24/05 Alice Colwell just plain boring 2 stars
3/04/05 TOTAL CRAP TOTAL CRAP 1 stars
1/31/05 New Jersey Rules SHIT 1 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams the twist at the end was RIDICULOUS 2 stars
11/22/04 Bobby Horrible. The ghost isn't scary; she's annoying. The mystery is crap and the "twists" suck. 2 stars
11/19/04 Jessica It was ok, but it was Robert Downey Jr. that made me want to watch it. 4 stars
11/08/04 psycho black dwarf Had a hard time believing Norm from Fargo as a hardcore inked baddie 2 stars
11/08/04 alchemist1066 a psycho-ghost romp, similar to "What Lies Beneath" 4 stars
7/23/04 Jannet Kwan Creepy just plain creepy I am so glad I am not in her shoe 4 stars
7/23/04 American Slasher Goddess Bland and boring. A waste of time. 1 stars
7/22/04 Nikolai Scared me asleep. Naked women don't hold a candle to likes of Anne Francis 2 stars
6/22/04 S.F Hell be sucked ! 1 stars
6/19/04 Denise Duspiva good plot 4 stars
5/23/04 Scarecrow The film has no consept!! 1 stars
5/21/04 nina loved it! 5 stars
5/18/04 AfroFett Boring, unscary, predictable... 1 stars
5/11/04 FGA Boring, Unoriginal, and just plain LAME! 1 stars
5/09/04 Charlene Javier Was this supposed to be scary? 2 stars
5/07/04 wylene I thought it was pretty good. 4 stars
5/06/04 David The scariest part was Halle sticking her tongue in that big lump of goo at the start 3 stars
5/02/04 American Slasher Goddess Boring and ruined by Berry's terrible acting 2 stars
5/01/04 john bale Style and logic of old gothic horror films , some genuine scary moments with sexy Halle 4 stars
5/01/04 susan lee actors overall better than movie itself 3 stars
4/15/04 alice OK Movie, but allready done before 3 stars
3/24/04 p.davidson completely derivative. a boring boring film. 2 stars
3/22/04 TAE pretty good, some parts really scared me 4 stars
3/07/04 Zach G. Anyone notice this movie was practically identical to 'What Lies Beneath'?? 3 stars
3/05/04 max scared the shit outta me, but saw the ending coming! 4 stars
2/25/04 Chartreuse Onyx A veritable crock of nonsense about women into wishin' 1 stars
2/25/04 Julia Cox Starts as promising wrongful accusation drama; languishes into supernatural mumbojumbo. 2 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge Relatively predictable,vaguely disturbing and well excecuted.Had a "greasy" feel to it. 4 stars
1/21/04 Betty White Mindless, badly acted thriller; it's more like a comedy. 1 stars
1/03/04 A F Over acting. Haven't I seen this movie about a million times already. 2 stars
12/02/03 kawaii50 It's a movie...I had no expectations but I wasn't disappointed 4 stars
11/30/03 Xalt Immersive. Freaky. Flipped me out. I liked it. 4 stars
11/29/03 nick2k watch the ring instead... 3 stars
11/29/03 Emperor's New Clothes? Nope. Just a Fat, Ugly, Naked, Guy. Formulaic and contrived. Still scared me and then made me feel laugh for being scared. 4 stars
11/26/03 eeweepeerf story stopped after the 1st 20 minutes, then it was like the same scene repeating itself. 1 stars
11/24/03 KS Scarred me and suprised me! 5 stars
11/24/03 mike Not at all scary. Completely unorigional. 1 stars
11/23/03 Nisha I think that Gothika serverd it's purpose. I was scared and entertained. 5 stars
11/23/03 horndog i paid to see Halle's tits.didnt see halle's tits.horndog pissed..and the movie sucked,too 1 stars
11/22/03 benice bad 1 stars
11/22/03 malcolm halle berry nekkit + a couple of good scares, i'll take it 3 stars
11/22/03 Brian i've never seen a movie just end out of the blue... 3 stars
11/22/03 Cameron Slick A formulaic, mediocre movie with some good acting and atmosphere and a couple cheap scares. 2 stars
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  21-Nov-2003 (R)
  DVD: 12-Oct-2004



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