Skeleton Key

30 ratings (29 Epinions reviews)
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The Skeleton Key ~ At Last, A Truely Creepy Film...

Mar 21, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Suspense:

Pros:Hudson, Sarsgaard

Cons:Just one teeny bit of bad footwork on facts...

The Bottom Line: Even the Bottom Line knows that you never go into the attic....


Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.

Many movies claim to be thrillers and lead you to believe that they will give you a wonderful case of the heebie-jeebies, but fail to follow through on those promises. Skeleton Key is an exception. It had all the elements, and then some. I was truly surprised to find that I had not anticipated the ending. Kudos to them for that!

Skeleton Key is about a gal hired to care for a dying gentlemen who lives with his devoted wife in the creepiest New Orleans mansion to grace the silver screen in decades. It brought me back to the time when Vincent Price and Roger Corman ruled the creepy movie genre. I mean that setting alone set the stage for what was to come. It left me expecting to be creeped out, and I was.

Upon her hiring, our gal is given a skeleton key which is suppose to unlock every door in the house. Very quickly she finds that there is one door in the attic which will not give in to this key, though... and that is all you're getting on plot. anything further would serve to spoil some really fabulous surprises.

I will say that we are dealing with magical forces here. Call it Voodoo or Hoodoo or whatever, it's there. Yes, there were some factual issues with this, quite a few actually, but still... if you know nothing of these beliefs then it will not interfere with your enjoyment of the movie. In fact, these indiscretions were merely a small bump in the road for me. No more than a momentary WTF? and then back into the suspense. I'd love to tell you what was wrong, but alas, that would spoil everything. I'm afraid you'll just have to take this bit on faith. heh.

Kate Hudson is our unwitting caretaker in this, ad she does an outstanding job of it. I loved her in both Alex & Emma and Almost Famous, but Skeleton Key is where she has really made a mark in my eyes. She's tough. She's cocky. She's spooked and smart and girly and brave and... well.. she does remarkably well here.

The family attorney is played by a gorgeous Peter Sarsgaard of Jarhead and Garden State fame, and his chemistry with Hudson is palpable. Great casting decision, that. He plays his cards very close to the chest... Suffice it to say that he does his part perfectly.

This is one of those kind of movies where it very hard to discus without accidently slipping up and giving away a key plot twist. There are so many curve-balls in this one, and you will not always be able to see them coming. That, folks, is what makes this movie great.

With the vast majority of films of this genre I know what is going to happen almost from the beginning. I did not anticipate the ending to this one. Kudos to director Iain Softley for that. He may not have a lot of credits, but what he does have are all strong films such as Hackers and K-PAX. This guy is one to watch. I can hardly wait for the release of Inkheart.

This one is Rated PG-13 in the US for violence, disturbing images, some partial nudity and thematic material. Sweden says 11. I agree with Sweden's assessment of it. If your child is not prone to night terrors, then they should have a great time watching this one.

With so many films failing on the promise of chills-n-thrills, Skeleton Key deserves 4 very high stars for actually following through. I would go with 5 easily on this one if it were not for the total wrongness of something they said regarding the magic in play.

I highly recommend this one for folks who enjoy a good creepy thriller. This one does not disappoint.


Recommend this product? Yes

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