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Movie: Gothika (2003)

Because someone is dead doesn't mean they're gone.

Gothika (2003) is a psychological supernatural thriller starring Halle Berry, Penélope Cruz, Charles S. Dutton, and Robert Downey Jr.

Here's the synopsis: Dr. Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) works as a criminal psychiatrist in a mental institution. She's married to the head-in-charge of the institution, Dr. Douglas Grey (Charles S. Dutton).

One stormy night, Dr. Miranda is involved in an accident. To her dismay, she wakes up finding that she's accused of murdering Doug. However, she couldn't remember anything at all. With only fragmented memories of the alleged crime, she begins to hunt for the truth although everyone thinks she's crazy including her colleague,
Dr. Pete Graham (Robert Downey Jr.).

At the same time, she's haunted by the ghost of a girl called Rachel who's trying to convey a message to her with the phrase 'NOT ALONE'. As Miranda delves deeper and deeper with clues provided by Rachel Parsons, she realizes that Doug's the mastermind behind something very, very horrible.

I like this line that Dr. Miranda tells herself when she's all alone in her cell: "I am a rational person. I believe in science. I don't believe in the paranormal, and I don't believe in ghosts. But if you are the ghost of Rachel Parsons, then you would let me out of this cell." Next scene: The cell door is opened by an unseen force...

This movie incorporates scientific and logical explanation to inexplicable paranormal experiences encountered by Dr. Miranda.
In one of the scenes, during a session with a patient named Chloe (Penélope Cruz), she tells Miranda that she's frequently raped by the 'devil' in her cell. The 'devil' is in fact Doug's accomplice in committing horrendous sexual abuse on teenage girls. One of their victims was Rachel Parsons. Eerie huh?

Gothika, albeit its weird title, is considerably intriguing and tense with strong cinematography elements from reputable Asian horror movies, i.e. The Eye, The Ring, etc. You'll get that jerky, uneasy, and unsettling feelings in the pit of the stomach, especially towards the final 45 minutes because you just can't seem to predict what's the next scene would be.

Final verdict: Recommended for horror movie lovers. Watch it on DVD or YouTube. :)

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