The theme of innocent people being wrongly accused of crimes or mistakenly embroiled in some form of misdemeanour has been a staple of the thriller film genre for decades. Whilst it is far from enjoyable in real life to be accused of a crime you haven’t committed, below are ten films that use the theme of a wrongly accused protagonist to entertainment perfection…

10. GOTHIKA (2003)

Gothika is interesting introduction to this list as here’s a movie that combines the notions of a wrongful accusation with the standard psychological/supernatural/whodunnit horror plot. Halle Berry is Miranda Grey – a psychologist who is accused of murdering her husband but she has no recollection of committing the crime. Teamed with the manipulation of a rancorous spirit, Grey must prove her innocence whilst regaining her memory.

French director Mathieu Kassovitz’s tight direction works well to create an air of tension and makes for an uncomfortable viewing experience. Drawing on his breakthrough success La Haine (1995), Kassovitz keeps a distinct gritty style that is evident in his earlier opus, despite his much higher studio budget here. A unique interpretation of the theme, Gothika is certainly not the best film on this wrongfully accused list, however it is nonetheless an entertaining episode that floats through a few different genres.

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This article was first posted on October 4, 2011