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GOTHIKA

About The Production
Developed in northern France and amplified through Western Europe from the middle of the 12th century to the early 16th century, Gothic architecture reflects the savagely dramatic style of the medieval arts and is characterized by the evocative fusion of flying buttresses, pointed arches, vertical piers and vaulted ceilings.

In the late 1700s, the Gothic literary tradition emerged from England's changing social climate. Class riots within the country and a revolution in America sent a current of uncertainty coursing through a society already divided by conflicting ideas about the supernatural, as traditional religious and superstitious beliefs clashed with the rational principles of the Enlightenment. The burgeoning Gothic narrative – a remarkably popular hybrid of mystery, horror and desolation – dominated English literature in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the most renowned and influential work being Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, published in 1818. This "new and fearful genre for a new and fearful time" served as the forerunner to the modern mystery novel.

The Gothic tradition of violent change enveloped in mystery and steeped in moody atmosphere is re-imagined for the 21st century in Gothika, the chilling tale of Miranda Grey, a brilliant psychiatrist who experiences an unwelcome awakening when she is accused of a committing heinous murder she cannot remember. Unable to fathom having committed an unmotivated act of such sheer brutality against a husband she loved and admired, Miranda is shocked to find herself incarcerated at the Woodward Penitentiary for Women, alongside the criminally insane patients she once treated.

"Gothika is a supernatural thriller that works on multiple levels," says producer Joel Silver, who launched Dark Castle Entertainment with partner Robert Zemeckis in 1999 with the number one Halloween release House on Haunted Hill. "It's smart, it's scary, it's a mystery, it's an intense character piece, and of course, because it's a Dark Castle picture, it's a terrific ghost story."

The idea for Gothika came to Dark Castle, purveyors of the hit horror films Thir13en Ghosts and Ghost Ship, from an original pitch by screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez (Judas Kiss). "I remember sitting there listening to Sebastian tell me this gripping, atmospheric story and I was totally captivated," recalls Silver Pictures Executive V.P. of Production Susan Levin, who oversees development of Dark Castle projects and produced Gothika with Silver and Zemeckis. "Gothika taps into a fear that we all have – being told that you did something terrible that you have no memory of doing. And it keeps you guessing at every stage. Is it all happening in Miranda's mind? Is it a conspiracy? Or is she being manipulated by a supernatural force?"

After honing the story with Levin and Silver, Gutierrez delivered a chillingly suspenseful character-driven screenplay about a respected criminal psychologist battling for her sanity and freedom as she is thrust into circumstances beyond her control. "One of the things that distinguishes Gothika from your typical horror movie is the character of Miranda Grey," Silver says. "She's a smart, sensible woman with a comfortable marriage and a very stable life. And then in a very traumatic way, her freedom is stripped away, and everything she says is called into question. Her colleagues and her patients have never seen her lose her composure, let alone act as erratically as she does following the murder of her husband. She's forced to go from being someone who trusts only logic to having to trust her instincts."

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