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THE MOVIE: Gothika

Halle Berry • Robert Downey Jr. • Penelope Cruz
DIRECTOR: Mathieu Kassovitz

Halle Berry THE CONCEPT:
Criminal psychologist, Dr Miranda Grey (Berry) awakens to find herself a patient in her own mental institution, after apparently murdering her husband. With no memory of the crime, she soon finds she has become the pawn of a vengeful spirit.

U.S. RELEASE: November 21 2003, Nationwide
• Rated: R


“I had lots of nightmares while making this movie, and I think that was my body’s way of processing all this scary, freaky information that I pumped into all day, and the things that I had to conjure up in my mind to get to some of these places.”

ROBERT DOWNEY JR (Dr. Pete Graham):
“Yesterday at the television interviews, people were coming in and going, ‘I didn’t sleep so well last night,’ and I was like – yeah! The movie’s affecting people and it’s making them jump out of their seats, because it works.”

“For me the movie’s special because it is a movie that scares you and then it makes you feel a lot of things, but in a very unique way. It has many layers. I’ve never done a movie like this before, and that’s why I wanted to do this one.”

BERRY on doing the underwater sequence:
“You have to have a lot of trust in the stunt coordinators, and believe that everybody is really going to take care of you and protect you, because at one point I was tied down under the water and could not get out until somebody released me, so that was a little frightening. I could hold my breath for about a minute and half, but when the camera was rolling, I swear I couldn’t hold it longer than 20 seconds, because I had the anxiety and the panic inside me.”

DOWNEY JR on whether he believes in ghosts:
“When I was doing the movie Resurrection in England a friend of mine gave me a knife, and I was rehearsing some stuff in this mirror in this English hotel room, and I felt like the knife in my hand that I could see from the mirror wasn’t my hand holding the knife, and I had this really eerie feeling I had to put it down because there were malevolent energies around.”

CRUZ on the scariest movie she’s ever seen:
“The Exorcist, and I never saw it again. I read the book, hiding it from my parents, when I was very young, and I decided after many years I had to see the movie, but it was so disturbing.”

BERRY on what freaks her out when she sees a scary movie:
“Usually it’s good use of music. I remember when I watched Jaws, the music started and I was scared. Also I like when the scares come, that they are not in predictable places.”

CRUZ on whether she believes in ghosts:
“I’ve never seen one, but if you told me you saw one yesterday I would probably believe you, because I’ve seen so many weird things in my life.”

DOWNEY JR on the movie that scared him:
“When I saw The Omen and Damian is in the classroom, and he knows everything [they’re asking him], he has all that earth knowledge – that freaked me out.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Gothika site
Images above © Warner Brothers
Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #638, December 2003 cover

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