Gothika – or as it should really be called – GoThicko. A truly stupid film about characters who are apparently very clever being very stupid. Put it like this, the film contains the longest sequence I can remember for ages in which the vunerable heroine is trying to work out who the killer is in the presence of said killer. The audience, if they cared, would be screaming at her to say he is sitting next to you. But we don’t care because our suspension of disbelief has turned into suspension of interest about the time the film decided that the “Satan” raping Penelope Cruz in isolation in the mental asylum is actually real.

It is in this decision the film squanders its only interesting possible twist. If the ghost causing havoc with Halle Berry’s life is after retribution, why would Cruz’s stepfather killed equally violently not be a malevolent spirit. This is interesting because ti introduces the idea of the evil ghost, something western mythology is almost done with these days. Ghosts are just the aftermath of piss-poor-pop psychology, all with unfinished issues to sort out. Well Cruz’s stepfather, whom she violently killed to stop him abusing her, fits into the unfinished business school. Instead the pointlessly named Gothika keeps us to a one ghost only plot, and its a plot we have seen before. Poor.