2003 - Director : Mathieu Kassovitz. Screenplay : Sébastien Gutierrez. Cast : Halle Berry, Penelope Cruz, Robert Downey Jr. , Charles S. Dutton, John Carroll Lynch, Bernard Hill, Dorian Harewood. Producer Joel Silver. A production Dark Castel | Warner Bros | Columbia Tristar
Dr. Miranda Grey, a psychiatrist who becomes a patient in her own mental hospital after she is accused of murdering her husband. Grey's only initial memory of the incident involves a chilling encounter with a distraught girl on a rain-soaked road. The incarcerated and medicated Grey is now haunted by the same apparition, and she must convince her former colleague Pete Graham that she is not insane or guilty of murder. Meanwhile, the seemingly mad ramblings of Chloe, one of Grey's former patients, now make more sense, and Grey must throw aside clinical logic to solve the supernatural murder mystery.
Fifth full-length feature. First American full-length feature.
Joel SILVER (the producer of Matrix, DIE HARD, PREDATOR…) calls me in Paris because he has just seen CRIMSON RIVERS on the plane. A polite meeting follows where I encounter a Hollywood “heavyweight”. We keep in touch, then a year later I receive a call from Joel: “I’m sending you a script, it’s with Halle Berry, we’re shooting in two months”…
The script for Gothika was frightening, very well written and corresponded to my cinematographic tastes in a genre that I’m particularly fond of B series films.
As much as Crimson Rivers has a logical explanation for its fake ghosts, here we are in a pure ghost film without explanations.
The film was scheduled to be released for Halloween in 7 months, Halle Berry had just won an Oscar for MONSTER’S BALL, Joel SILVER was in the process of finishing production on MATRIX 2 and 3… The request was clear: I had to deliver a sexy and efficient film and it was up to me to amuse myself with the camera and frighten the spectators. The work of an artisan in a world of brutes.
Shot in Montreal with an entirely local crew, I went through another professional milestone, that of working with actors and technicians who are used to doing things differently. I learned a lot and I hope I brought them something of our typically French “system D” (resourcefulness).
I can’t help citing Steven Spielberg himself who thought that he would be seeing “another slasher movie” with Gothika, and then described it as a “classy” film.