Gothika (2003, USA)

It took me some time to watch “Gothika“. I started three or four times, but always ended up thinking it would be too scary for my taste. This occurred despite that I like all the major actors in it, Halle Berry, Robert Downey Jr. and Penélope Cruz. In fact they were the only reason I wanted to see this movie. I didn’t even know that it was directed by Mathieu Kassovitz. I thought I’ve never seen a movie directed by him, but checking his list I realize that’s incorrect I enjoyed two of his works in the past: Babylon A.D. and Les rivières pourpres. I mostly knew him though as an actor from Amelie, Amen and Munich. I started to look out of him, when I learned that his father is a Hungarian Jew.

Back to the movie though. Finally I sat down and watched it through and it wasn’t as bad or gory as other ghost stories. Certainly less gruesome. It had enough twists that I didn’t foresee to avoid being boring. On the other hand it was full of blue tint that is usually reserved for science fiction movies. This association rendered the asylum futuristic I the viewer’s, i.e. my, mind, placing it beyond the realistic. This abstraction made the movie less scary moving it from the “it could have happened” category to that of the imagination. Not a bad thing when talking about ghost stories. Unfortunately the otherwise great actors didn’t shine, didn’t make the script their own. This was a well-crafted, but not well-spirited (pun intended) movie.


IMDB’s summary: Ghost story in which a repressed female psychiatrist wakes up as a patient in the very asylum where she worked with no memory of why she is there and what she has done.


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