North American theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mathieu Kassovitz|
|Written by||Sebastian Gutierrez|
|Edited by||Yannick Kergoat|
|Box office||$141.6 million|
Gothika is a 2003 American supernatural psychological horror thriller film directed by Mathieu Kassovitz and written by Sebastian Gutierrez. Halle Berry plays a psychiatrist in a women's mental hospital who wakes up one day to find herself on the other side of the bars, accused of having murdered her husband. The film was first released on November 21, 2003, in the United States. Gothika grossed $141.6 million.
Dr. Miranda Grey is a psychiatrist who works at the women's ward of the Woodward Penitentiary, and has a car accident after trying to avoid hitting a girl standing in the middle of the road during a stormy night. She rushes to try to help the girl. The girl turns out to be a ghost who possesses Miranda's body. Miranda wakes up as a patient in the hospital where she works, and receives treatment from her colleague, Dr. Pete Graham. Drugged and confused, Miranda has no memory of what happened after the car accident. She is horrified to learn that her husband, Douglas, was brutally murdered and that she is the prime suspect. While Miranda copes with life in the hospital, the ghost uses her body to carry out tasks, most noticeably, carving the words "Not Alone" into Miranda's arm, which leads her former colleagues to believe Miranda is suicidal and is inflicting the wounds on herself.
As a patient, Miranda bonds with fellow inmate and her own former patient, Chloe Sava. Several times in sessions with Miranda, Chloe claimed that she'd been raped while in the hospital, but she had always attributed these stories to mental illness. One night, the door to Miranda's room in the hospital is opened by the ghost that has been haunting her. When she passes Chloe's room in the hospital, she can hear the rape occurring, and momentarily sees a man's chest pressed against the window. The man's chest bears a tattoo of an Anima Sola. Miranda realizes that Chloe was not making up these stories and, when she sees Chloe the next day, she apologizes and the two embrace. Chloe warns Miranda that her attacker said he was going to target Miranda next. Miranda begins regaining some of her memories bit by bit and slowly comes to remember herself killing her husband. She realizes that the ghost had used her body to murder Douglas, thus making Miranda the patsy for his murder. This is why all of the physical evidence points to Miranda.
Miranda, along with Pete, tells the whole story to hospital director Phil Parsons, who also doesn’t believe her. As she leaves, she sees a photograph of a girl in Phil’s office and recognizes her as the ghost that possessed her. Parsons tells her the girl is his daughter Rachel, who had committed suicide four years earlier by jumping off the bridge where Miranda first encountered the ghost. Miranda escapes from the hospital, after being viciously attacked by Rachel in her cell, and begins seeking clues to the mystery of why she killed her husband. She goes to her house and sees the vision of Doug’s murder, realizing that she had killed her husband while under Rachel’s possession. She remembers Doug going to a farmhouse in Willow Creek, Rhode Island earlier that day and believes there might be a connection there. She arrives at Willow Creek, which was vacant. In the cellar of a barn, she discovers a room containing a blood-stained bed, what appears to be a box containing drugs, restraints, and video equipment. She watches the tape that is still in the camera and the viewer hears a woman screaming as if tortured or raped. In the final seconds of the video, Douglas walks into the shot, covers a woman's lifeless body on the bed with a sheet, and winks at the camera. At this point, police arrive and one officer comes closer to Miranda and draws a gun on her while she is holding a knife to him. Miranda backs up to a staircase and, suddenly, an injured, frantically screaming girl grabs hold of her from the adjoining crawlspace. The police release the girl, and Miranda is taken to jail.
While she is in jail, Miranda talks to Phil, telling him that Rachel’s death was no suicide and that she was raped and murdered by Doug, both feeling betrayed. Miranda also believes that "Not Alone" meant that Rachel wasn’t Doug’s only victim. Sheriff Ryan, who was Doug’s best friend, talks to Miranda and quizzes her on how she knew all these things. Miranda then discovers the real meaning of "Not Alone"; that there was a second killer. Ryan does not believe her claim that ghosts told her everything, and asks her what sort of person the accomplice would be. Miranda uses her experience as a psychiatrist to give a psychological profile, and as she does so, realizes that Ryan fits the profile perfectly. He reveals himself as the other killer and then attacks her, and in the fight reveals his tattoo (an Anima Sola). As Ryan was about to inject a syringe into Miranda, the lights start to flicker and Miranda was able to turn the syringe on Ryan, drugging him. As he goes searching for Miranda, Ryan, under the influence of the drug, begins ranting that he and Doug had killed before. They then started secretly raping and torturing women at Willow Creek, with Rachel being their first victim. Ryan causes a gas leak in the police station from firing his shotgun and as he sees Rachel’s ghost, fires a shot toward her and causes an explosion from the gas leak, setting him ablaze. Miranda then shoots and kills the sheriff. Pete, just a few seconds later, shows up at the station, worried about Miranda's safety after he solves the mystery himself. He looks relieved to see Miranda safe, and through the soundproof window mouths the words "I'm sorry, Miranda."
Approximately a year later, Miranda is seen walking with Chloe on a city sidewalk, discussing how each helped the other come to terms with her experiences. Miranda claims to be free of the ghost's influence and sends Chloe off in a taxi. Miranda then sees a young boy standing in the middle of the road who appears as though he is about to be struck by a fire truck. Miranda yells for the boy to move, but after the fire truck passes through the boy without harming him, she realizes he was only a ghost. As Miranda walks away, a poster with the words "Have you seen Tim?" and a picture of the same boy is shown taped to a pole next to the street on which Miranda is walking.
- Halle Berry as Dr. Miranda Grey
- Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. Pete Graham
- Charles S. Dutton as Dr. Douglas Grey
- John Carroll Lynch as Sheriff Ryan
- Penélope Cruz as Chloe Sava
- Bernard Hill as Phil Parsons
- Dorian Harewood as Teddy Howard
- Bronwen Mantel as Irene
- Kathleen Mackey as Rachel Parsons
- Matthew G. Taylor as Turlington
- Michel Perron as Joe
- Andrea Sheldon as Tracey Seaver
The score's original music was composed by John Ottman. "Behind Blue Eyes" by Limp Bizkit (originally by The Who) was featured in the film but was not available on the soundtrack. The record was released on November 18, 2003 via Varèse Sarabande.
Gothika was released on November 21, 2003, in North America, grossing $19.3 million in the opening weekend and ranking at #2, behind The Cat in the Hat. It went on to gross $59.7 million in the US and $81.9 million from foreign markets for a worldwide total of $141.6 million.
The review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 14% approval rating based on 168 reviews and an average rating of 4.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Berry's acting talents can't save Gothika from its preposterous plot and bad dialogue." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 38 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
A more positive review came from Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times, who gave the film 3 out of 4 stars. He said "the plot is preposterous" but nonetheless felt that stylish direction and Berry's performance made Gothika enjoyable on its own "lurid" terms: "The casting of Halle Berry is useful to the movie, because she evokes a vulnerable quality that triggers our concern. Hitchcock might have wanted to work with her. He didn't cast so much for acting ability as for an innate quality."
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- 2004 Black Reel Awards
- Best Actress - Halle Berry
- 2004 Kids Choice Awards
- Best Favorite Actress
- 2004 Golden Trailer Award
- Best Horror/Thriller
- 2004 Image Awards
- Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture - Halle Berry
- Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture - Charles S. Dutton
- 2004 MTV Movie Awards
- Best Female Performance - Halle Berry
- 2004 Teen Choice Awards
- Choice Movie – Thriller
- Gothika at Box Office Mojo
- "Gothika (2003)". soundtrackinfo.com. Retrieved 2014-05-25.
- "Gothika (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-09-14.
- "Gothika (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "Gothika Reviews". Metacritic.
- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.
- Ebert, Roger. "Gothika Movie Review & Film Summary (2003) - Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com.