Gothika is a good suspense movie. Halle Berry plays a Miranda Grey, a psychiatrist who works in a prison. She’s married to her boss and her life seems pretty good until a dark rainy night when a girl shows up on the road and Miranda tries to help her. Something strange happens and Miranda wakes up in the very psychiatric wing of the prison where she works. Except this time she is the patient. Seems there was a brutal murder committed and all the evidence points to her.
I really liked the way this film was done. In some respects it’s the typical suspenseful ghost movie, but then I still wasn’t sure till the end what was really going on. Once the movie lays out its cards the very last piece is somewhat predictable, but until you get to that point it really keeps you guessing. And jumping. This movie had many good, creepy scenes. The prison psychiatry ward is disturbing enough, with the dull lighting that constantly seems to be flickering or going out completely, and the fact that most of the time Miranda is stuck in a cell with a strange unearthly visitor. But just wait till Miranda goes to the old creepy barn. Yes, it sounds a bit cliche, but it scared me enough that I didn’t even notice that it was cliche while I was watching.
Halle Berry does a really good job playing Miranda, who seems like she’s always walking that fine line between sanity and complete mental breakdown. A lot of times the hero will be either too much of a wimp or too unbelievably strong willed. Halle’s portrayal of Miranda hits the sweet spot of believability.
This movie will scare you, startle you, and make you question the private lives of your friends. Do you really know them? I also liked the dilemma Miranda finds herself in—once you get committed, no one believes anything you say. Strangely enough for this type of genre, the ending to the movie makes some room for a sequel. We’ll see if they act on it. Anyway, if you liked What Lies Beneath then you will probably like Gothika. For what it is worth, I thought Gothika was the better movie.