Right off the bat, what the Hell did the title, Gothika, have to do with anything?
There is nothing “gothic” about this movie, in appearance or tone, really.
But whatever, moving on…
French actor / director Mattheu Kossavich brings us his first American movie, but it basically rips off both SIXTH SENSE and STIR OF ECHOES, as written by one Sebastian Gutierrez..(I’m way too lazy to check the spelling of either name)
Gothika did keep me guessing (and kinda dreading) the next appearance of the angry dead girl, but then I’m a wimp, and am easy pray for manipulative movies with “made you jump” moments. Halle Berry does a very good job as a clinical psychologist working with the criminally insane, who goes from doctor to patient in one night thanks to the aforementioned angry dead girl. Penelope Cruz also delivers a great performance…in fact both these ladies did an admirable job of looking very unglamorous and displaying a nice range of emotions.
Kathleen Mackey plays the angry dead girl, Rachel. She’s got nothing on Samara, but she’s effective in her own right. My biggest problem with this movie, and most ghost stories lately, is these ghosts have so much supernatural abilities, yet they're always somehow limited to really obscure hinting to get their messages across.
Then there are the inconsistencies with the script, and certain behaviors, etc. This is Dark Castle’s most ambitious attempt at a psychological thriller, but they still rely on too many cliched horror movie moments. (Their previous movies, House On Haunted Hill, Thirteen Ghosts, and Ghost Ship were all full blown horror movies.)
Still I applaud Dark Castle for attempting to bring “scary movies” to the mainstream, and I hope they continue to do so. As for Ms Berry, well, like I said she did a great job, and I think both she and Cruz brought some respectability to the movie, which was one step away from “B Movie” material the whole way. As for the director, he has a good eye, but I was hoping for more.
And again, why was this movie called Gothika?