Rating: R for violence, language and nudity
Run Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
“Gothika” is an intriguing premise. A dedicated criminal psychologist awakens to find herself a patient in her own mental institution, with no memory of the murder she’s apparently committed. It’s going to be a really bad day.
Unfortunately, it’s a really bad movie. Littered with clichés and lacking even a speck of originality, “Gothika” is yet another entry in the “If we build it they will come” horror sweepstakes, i.e. churn out another horror film and wallow in the ka-ching ka-ching.
Enter Dr. Pete Graham (Robert Downey, Jr.) a devoted co-worker who finds himself in the awkward position of having Grey as a patient. The two toss out clinical psycho-babble (“Ability to suppress is a vital survival tool”, etc.) while uneasily weighing the relative merits of science vs. the paranormal. But something is not normal, and Grey is determined to find out what.
The clichés just keep on coming. The rain-soaked highway, relentlessly flickering lights, computer screens that instantly display damning evidence, and of course the Meaningful Clue smeared in blood across the crime scene walls.
bogus jumps and loony hallucinations,
Production design is one giant stereotype of sinister – dark, peeling walls, bathtubs of blood and hidden torture chambers. Nods to “The Sixth Sense” and “What Lies Beneath” smack of larceny. “Gothika” is so lacking in mystery that I saw the resolution coming a mile off, and didn’t care a whit.