Halle Berry is hot. And at one point in my life, that would’ve been enough. (I actually bought Swordfish for about 20 seconds’ worth of boob.) But I’m more mature now, and my standards have risen…A minute of tit is the absolute minimum! By those standards, Gothika is a miserable failure. How do you have Halle Berry in a female prison (mental ward, whatever), with a shower scene and a couple of pool scenes, and still manage to have no gratuitous nudity or anything resembling sexiness whatsoever? Where were the makeup and hair people? Everyone knows that women’s prisons are full of T&A and hot girl-on-girl action. C’mon people! Where’s the realism?!
Fine, I guess they’re going for some sort of “respectability.” Whatever. So, I guess there’s a plot here about a psychiatrist (Berry) who goes all Sixth Sense helping the ghost of a white girl solve her murder. Unlike The Sixth Sense, though, this ghost is kind of an asshole. Not only does she possess Berry, but she kicks the crap out of her to boot (which begs the question why she needed to possess her if she could already manipulate physical objects). There’s nothing particularly original, gory or scary about Gothika — a really weak “R” rating — but it’s more or less competent (granted, the title makes little sense), which is more than you can say about a lot of Berry’s work. It’s nice to see a horror film starring a black woman outright, and while Berry is no Oscar winner (oops), compared to mumbly supporting actress Penelope Cruz, she’s Laurence Olivier.