For her next big film, you would think Halle Berry would choose something worthwhile. After gaining attention for being one of few minorities awarded an Oscar, Berry could likely land any quality role she wanted.
Instead, she chose the lead in a poorly-written and unimpressive waste of time called Gothika.
Berry plays Dr. Miranda Grey, a criminal psychologist who blacks out on her drive home one night, almost hitting a girl and waking up the next day in the same mental institution in which she once worked. She is accused of the murder of her husband, played by Charles S. Dutton.
Grey sees ghosts – specifically, a girl who committed suicide four years earlier in the sanitarium. She is haunted throughout the course of the film, where she tries to find out why she may have killed her husband and what the ghost wants.
The movie is an endless string of stormy nights and terribly overused horror movie tricks. Berry finds herself in too many precarious situations for us to believe that she isn’t really crazy.
The addition of Robert Downey, Jr. as a fellow doctor, who helps her in her journey to find the truth behind her husband’s murder, is another flaw.
The relationship between the two never seems to blossom into something we can believe either as professional, romantic or whatever. Penelope Cruz, playing one of Berry’s patients, ends up becoming her close ally in the hospital, but her character is so pointless and ridiculous that it makes us even less interested in the picture.
The star power of Berry, Downey, Cruz and Dutton seems terribly wasted in Gothika. Halle Berry is without argument a great actress, she just seems to choose pictures that don’t allow her to amaze us with her talent.
The same goes for the other actors in the film, who all have great performances under their belts. Unfortunately, Gothika is not one of them.
If you’re looking for Halle Berry to win another Academy Award, it won’t be for Gothika.
Wait until her next film comes out, or rent one of the movies she’s been in that actually merit two hours of your viewing time.
Ross Bercik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org