“Logic’s overrated,” says Halle Berry’s frazzled Dr. Miranda Grey at the conclusion of Gothika. Apparently, director Mathieu Kassovitz (La Haine) wholeheartedly agrees, since his ghost story/murder mystery succeeds in making every plot twist more unbelievable and irrational than the last. Grey is a psychiatrist at a mental ward, but after a rainy night encounter with a deceased teen’s apparition, she wakes up in her own hospital as an inmate accused of murdering her husband (Charles S. Dutton). Everyone thinks Grey is crazy, and her recurring visions of a dead girl with wet spaghetti hair and a disjointed gait don’t do much to dispel that assessment. Like The Ring, The Others, The Sixth Sense, and innumerable Asian horror films, a ghost returns to the mortal world in order to undo a wrong and find closure. Gothika, however, doesn’t really care about the physical and sexual abuse at the crux of its story; it just wants to provide a few familiar jolts as it meanders toward its thoroughly implausible climax. Robert Downey Jr. discards any trace of his mischievous affability as Grey’s new doctor, and Penelope Cruz goes haywire playing a nutcase with delusions (or are they?) about being raped by the devil. Berry, asked to carry the film from start to finish, looks quite fetching even with flat hair and a nondescript outfit (white t-shirt, hospital pants). Unfortunately, the actress’ torrents of teary-eyed histrionics fail to suggest that her character has anything resembling an internal life. Kassovitz, in spite of his gimmicky CGI-aided camerawork, does an adequate job creating a spooky atmosphere, but the film doggedly lurches and lunges in increasingly ridiculous directions. The villains’ motives, Berry’s escape from the asylum, the ghost’s decision to viciously abuse Berry as a means of enlisting her help – absolutely nothing in this cockamamie thriller makes sense. Next time, a little logic might be just what the doctor ordered.