More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

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

Latest Reviews

True Fiction by Jay Seaver

Pick of the Litter by Jay Seaver

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Peter Sobczynski

House With A Clock In Its Walls, The by Peter Sobczynski

Life Itself (2018) by Peter Sobczynski

Unity of Heroes by Jay Seaver

Hanagatami by Jay Seaver

Predator, The by Jay Seaver

Fahrenheit 11/9 by Rob Gonsalves

Madeline's Madeline by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

[] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"Thank you, Penelope Cruz, for making us laugh again."
3 stars

Suppose there's a female psychiatrist who works with inmates at a penitentiary for the criminally insane. Then suppose the doctor herself goes crazy. Do you suppose they'd put her in the same prison she worked at, so her former patients would now be her cellmates? In "Gothika," they would.

It is set in New England, where perhaps there is not a wide selection of places to send insane, murderous females. At any rate, it is only one of many oddities about the story and characters contained within this salacious and trashy little thriller.

Halle Berry plays the doctor in question, a bright young shrink named Miranda Grey. She is married, inexplicably, to Charles S. Dutton as a hospital administrator, and both are friends with Robert Downey Jr. (who must have been thrilled to act in a film set in a prison) as another administrator whose interest in Miranda might run deeper than it ought to.

One night during a rainstorm, Miranda sees a woman standing in the middle of the road. Then the woman's head lights on fire, which cannot be what she expected. Next thing Miranda knows, it's three days later and she's locked up for having killed her husband, an act she has no memory of.

Well. Quite a pickle, no? But wait, it gets worse. Miranda also begins to endure visitations by some kind of ghostly presence which seems to be giving her clues about something. Creepy things happen almost constantly, their eeriness intensified by the fact that the prison always seems to be dark, and it always seems to be raining outside.

Give Halle Berry credit for performing with gusto in such a by-the-numbers thriller, and I am utterly delighted with Penelope Cruz, who wins the Christopher Walken award for loopiest supporting performance. ("He came back again and tore me like paper," she says while recalling a dream. "Ripped me like a flower of pain." Later, she mentions someone's Adam's apple but pronounces it "autumn's apple." A good time is had by all.)

French writer/actor Mathieu Kassovitz, making his English directorial debut, gives the film a certain ominous feel, and the camera work of cinematographer Matthew Libatique ("Requiem for a Dream") carries us through the prison as though we, too, were ghosts, floating through windows and walls carelessly.

In the end, the more lurid the explanations are, the more ludicrous they are, too. It's silly stuff, but I suppose it's fine as far as it goes.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/04/05 17:59:46
[printer] printer-friendly format  
This film is available for download or online viewing at For more in the series, click here.

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
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  21-Nov-2003 (R)
  DVD: 12-Oct-2004



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast