November 19, 2003

GOTHIKA – A Movie Review

Gripping Tale Has A Profound Effect
By Fred H. Arm
Normally, a Gothic Horror movie has a series of clichéd unlikely scenarios that are designed to jolt you out of your seat. GOTHIKA, on the other hand, blends the typical horror genre with a realistic angst that is unrelenting with serial jolts of absolute fright and distress. Gothika stars HALLE BERRY, as Dr. Miranda Grey, a rational and highly respected criminal psychologist at a bleak criminal penal institution run by her rotund husband, (CHARLES S. DUTTON). Miranda treats dangerously disturbed patients like Chloe (PENELOPE CRUZ), an intensely charismatic and disturbed murderess whose confessions of satanic torture are dismissed by the prudent young Miranda as simply the meanderings of a paranoid mind. DownyEyesC5-20.jpg
Robert Downy Jr.

Miranda’s well-ordered and predicable life makes an abrupt turn after a brief encounter with a mysterious young girl that seems like a swing into the supernatural that ultimately sends Miranda into a nightmarish life beyond her wildest imagination.

Halle Berry
She transcends the dark and stormy encounter to find herself awakening in one of the special security glass cells at the prison and eventually being confronted by one of her former colleagues, Dr. Pete Graham, (ROBERT DOWNY JR.) about the brutal slaying of her husband. She is shocked and dismayed to discover that all the evidence points to her as the perpetrator, even though she has no memory of what had transpired. She maintains that she had always loved and admired her husband, thus having no motive to commit such an egregious and brutal crime.

Miranda now finds herself confined in isolation at the prison alongside her former unstable patients that she had treated with such methodical detachment. Her colleagues consider her claims of innocence and paranormal experiences as the beginnings of a deep decent into indisputable madness and are unsympathetic to her since she now appears to them to be a brutal psychotic killer. CruzC54-01.jpg
Penelope Cruz
A series of mystical events cause Miranda to begin to doubt her own sanity or possibly that she is possessed by demons that appear to guarantee that she will become psychotic. She attempts to befriend Chloe and finds herself drawn deeper into Chloe’s own personal hell that in due course merges with her own special demons.

Bewildered and desperate, she challenges these bizarre specters until the pressure builds to a crescendo of strange and frightening events that transcend the paranormal and blend into a harsh reality of everyday so-called “normal” evil personalities. The story climaxes with a series of clichéd archetypes, typically undetectable in their masterful guise of common people.

Director MATHIEU KASSOVITZ plays on such basic psychological fears of being accused of something quite heinous that one has no memory of. He grinds unrelentlessly ahead with scene after scene of spine-chilling fear, largely untainted by the conventional horror genre of incessant blood and gore. There is hardly any comic relief, so be prepared to endure an adrenalin-soaked experience that will leave you in a heightened state of angst for some time afterwards.

Halle Berry and Robert Downy Jr.

Stellar performances by Halle Berry and Penelope Cruz add just the right seasoning to this gothic broth to make this film a truly impressionable and unforgettable experience. This is not a movie for the meek to endure or the faint of heart to suffer through. It is a brilliantly conceived draining journey into the mystical world of so-called disturbed criminal minds, seasoned by the improbability of supernatural intercession. The film presents a balanced tightrope of sanity versus fantasy and the blunt trauma as we discover the malevolent weakness of human flesh.

Posted by fredarm at November 19, 2003 04:31 PM


Posted by: Jimmy at November 2, 2004 10:59 PM

this movie was a very good movie. i liked it a lot. it was scary which is good. and it has robert donehay or w/e his name is. i was always scared that rachael parsons would show up when u least expected it, like when the scary music started, and i actually cryed once because i felt bad for miranda :-(
~Chyna~ i would pay to see it many more times!

Posted by: Chyna at April 15, 2004 04:55 PM

This movie scared me so much so that I was jumping out of my seat and looking through my fingers. The suspense sometimes is unbearable, the music also adds to the effect. Go and see it's unforgettable!

Posted by: Corina at April 5, 2004 03:10 PM

I like this movie a lot. My friends and I went to see twice so we could see if we missed anything. It keep me entertianed and made me jump. I think that the actors in this movie did a wonderful job. They did not overact in one scene; with a movie like this it is easy to overact your part. When Halle Berry was upset or crying I felt for her. When Penelope was mad at the fact that noone would beleive her I also felt for her. I would recommend this movie to anyone looking to watch a good movie. Gothika was a movie that keep me following it, and made me needing to see what happens next. I love the effects of the fire, the rain, and the slow motion that the movie added. I give the movie 3.5 out of 4 stars. Defiantly worth the money to see it!

Posted by: Kammy at December 2, 2003 08:43 AM
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