Character development was great, acting was excellent, well written, well directed and just an all around well put together movie.A health care worker decides she can't provide the kind of care to her patients she wants to provide within the cold confines of the nursing home she's working in. She opts then to take a job caring for the husband of a very strange woman in their even stranger home. She soon discovers that this couple seemingly has a strong belief in hoodoo a variant of voodoo , and as she investigates further the ailment afflicting her new patient, and the disturbing <more>
behavior of his wife, a series of terrifying events unfold. Great plot twists, and an unexpectedly original surprise ending. Highly recommended!
Well Spun Southern-Gothic Horror Tale. (by drownnnsoda)
I saw "The Skeleton Key" back in August 2005 during it's theatrical run, and I can say it was one of the better horror/thrillers of the year. "The Skeleton Key" is about a young hospice worker named Caroline Ellis who decided to take a caregiving job outside of New Orleans deep in the bayou. She will be working for Violet Devereaux, and will be taking care of her bed ridden husband, Ben. Caroline senses something eerie about the old plantation house, and begins to uncover a strange chain of events and incidents after opening a secret room within the attic. In the attic <more>
are all kinds of strange things, and strangest of all and old record called 'The Conjure of Sacrifice'. Caroline begins to suspect something isn't going right within the home. She asks her friend Jill who explains that the attic is probably a Hoodoo room, and tells Caroline that Hoodoo is folk magic, and it can't hurt you if you don't believe in it. But if Caroline dares believe in what she has been exposed to, it can ultimately destroy her. Could there be ghosts within the old home? Or could something else even more sinister be going on? I can't say a whole lot about this movie, but trust me you will be pleased with it, and the ending will surely shock you. It has to be one of the greatest twists I've seen in a movie, and came completely unexpected. When you think you know what's happening, everything is completely reversed, and I have much respect for the writer of this film, who incidentally wrote 2002's hit "The Ring". I think this film is by far better though.The movie sets a very creepy tone and atmosphere, with all the imagery of the Spanish moss, etc. Director Softeley uses lots of southern imagery to add a certain texture to the movie. Also the record featured in the film, 'The Conjure of Sacrifice' is very creepy, listening to it can give you the chills. Kate Hudson is excellent as our main character, and Gena Rowlands was perfect for the shadowy yet friendly old woman. John Hurt is great too, speaking hardly one word throughout the whole movie, yet giving a perfect performance by mannerisms and facial expression. How many actors can do that? I think one of the reasons this movie appealed to me so much was because it took place in the South, and I've always been fascinated with places like that, but overall I think anyone can enjoy the movie - it has great acting, an excellent story, and some pleasingly creepy moments. But don't expect some blood and guts horror film, this movie builds tension and suspense rather than drench us with blood, it isn't that type of horror film. "The Skeleton Key" is an excellent Southern-Gothic mystery, compelling all the way through. They don't make many of 'em like this. 10/10.
A twist that will leave your head spinning! (by Nightman85)
Intelligent, stylish, and compelling all the way, The Skeleton Key is one of the best supernatural thrillers in years!Young nurse takes up a job at an isolated bayou estate, where she begins to believe that someone is messing with some sinister magic.Director Iain Softley gives this film some nice style, using the feverish swamp setting to build an atmosphere of tension and the unknown. However it's really Ehren Kruger's cleverly crafted story that will draw one into the film. Kruger delivers a tale full of mystery and unsettling sequences, all of which builds to a terrificly twisted <more>
finale. It's a true surprise! Kate Hudson makes for a good female lead, but Gena Rowlands is probably the best of the cast as her shadowy character. Peter Sarsgaard does a nice turn as the family lawyer, while John Hurt makes the most of playing a mute old man.For those seeking a great supernatural thriller, look no further than this terrific hit. It may be one of the best supernatural shockers of 2005!*** out of ****
Part of the success of this type of movie is setting up and making sure its resolution lives up to its expectations. I must say that in this film everything seems to work, and yet... I'm not sure what spooked more: its ending or the nature of its ending.The film deals with the adventures of a young care worker in the middle of Louisiana. The atmospheric surroundings, the haunting score, beautiful, spooky photography, and some very good acting by Rowlands and Kate Hudson raise the bar for upcoming "horror films". We're glued to the screen for nearly two hours, as things <more>
become more mysterious and intriguing. A few times we're treated to a jolt and a revelation, but what closes the film is bound to ruffle a few feathers.Above all, this is a very good movie, with a script that doesn't cheat anyone and doesn't rely on silly gimmicks. Those factors should portend good tidings for its success in its original release, but it will probably become a classic of its kind. The heroine in distress manages to be smarter than the usual stereotype. She wants to explore the surroundings and solve the problem. The problem is she has no idea how bad the situation might be.Gena Rowlands provides her character with nuances rarely seen in this type of film. She is a strange character and hooks up the audience from the very beginning. There is no really an archetype for what Rowlands brings to life. A few might find the previous statement questionable, but if you look closely to the development of her character, it is almost an original.Kate Hudson makes a very strong impression in this film. She goes beyond the pretty actress to an accomplished performer who matches up to Rowland's intensity. She navigates the film with an ease rarely seen in today's roster of plastic pre-packaged pseudo celebrities. It is refreshing to see an actress make you care for the character that has so often been portrayed as an offensive stereotype. There no gratitude's screaming scenes here. The film reminds me of "The Others", a movie with substance and intelligence.This is a film that I will highly recommend to my friends, particularly because I want to hear what they have to say about that ending.
Why the twist at the end was disturbing (by olin2359)
I thought this movie was great because of the twist at the end. I have seen this movie a few times and 2 out of 3 people miss the most creepy and disturbing part of the whole movie. The funny thing about this movie is that the sacrifices all started with the children of the wealthy banker. Papa Justify and Mama Cecile took over the children's bodies during the party and then the people at the party hung and burned the children thinking it was the servants. That in itself was disturbing. They then shot the wealthy banker and his wife and took over the house and lived there until they took <more>
Interesting, clever, well-written, well-acted and really quite compelling - but not very scary. (by robchat)
Have you ever wondered what happened to Penny Lane after the film Almost Famous? Almost Famous, with its great, funny, emotional and entertaining script, was the only film I had ever seen starring Kate until I watched The Skeleton Key, in which she stars as an ex-Rock-and-Roll party girl, who decides to work as a live-in carer.She accepts a post helping a lady Gena Rowlands look after her husband John Hurt who has had a stroke in the attic of their very large house.I had been meaning to watch The Skeleton Key for quite a while; it is written by the guy who wrote the American version of <more>
The Ring - the only scary film that really really freaked me out when I first watched it.The story centres around the mystery surrounding the attic containing lots of scary artifacts, and the spooky reasons why the man has had a stroke up there.It also concerns itself with the history of black slavery and Hoodoo - the real practice of harmful black and helpful white magic - in New Orleans.The film does have some of the usual horror film clichés - no light in the room; turning around when someone is behind you - but with a difference.Unlike most scary films, Kate Hudson's character is realistic, and she has a strong believable personality. She goes into the dark attic because she is not scared and wants to have a look; she asks people straight away what is on her mind because she wants to understand what is happening; she takes the initiative and, where as in the usual scary films the pretty girl does exactly what no-one would ever do in real life, she does exactly what a lot of people would feasibly do in the same situation - how refreshing! Just as refreshing is to watch a film in the horror genre that has real substance, and quality acting from all concerned John Hurt and Gena Rowlands are particularly impressive .The twist at the end of this film is as clever as The Sixth Sense, or The Others. And the film is as spooky as The Ring.Nevertheless, The Skeleton Key is not that scary. It was advertised as a 'scary movie' I hate that term; it sounds so bad some how , but personally, I found it to be interesting, clever, well-written, well-acted and really quite compelling - but not very scary.To conclude, although it wasn't the film that I expected it to be, I wasn't disappointed - I was pleasantly surprised. This film was as great as I had hoped, but it is also an intellectual film, and refreshingly different!
Great acting and good ending (by joandjustinwalsh)
Having seen the lacklustre trailer for this film, I wouldn't have bothered to see it at the cinema if it wasn't for some very positive reviews here in the UK. It isn't the most original film and the ending, while good, isn't gob-smacking. But it is very well shot and has some strong acting performances in it. Kate Hudson is particularly good as the inquisitive nurse. Her character generally doesn't need to be told things twice and I liked the way her thought processes appeared logical. I felt like she was doing what I'd have done in her circumstances. I've never <more>
been to the Southern USA, but the sets and locations felt very atmospheric. I'm sure to folks from those parts it looked a bit hackneyed, but to a UK viewer it felt mysterious and brooding. Overall, a very enjoyable was to spend an hour and a half. See it in the cinema, as I feel that the pacing and atmosphere could be lost on a small screen in a living room.
After a slightly slow start, 'Skeleton Key' develops into an original, evocative and at times genuinely scary occult thriller so Ehren Kruger has redeemed himself after his truly wretched script for 'Ring 2' . I am not going into spoilers, which would be extremely destructive for a film of this kind but there are very clever character shifts, achieving a wonderful tension lock for the last 40 minutes or so mainly because all the performances are so good. The use of props and flash-backs is also wonderfully rich. The setting is contemporary New Orleans and its surrounds but <more>
this is mythical south and none the worse for that. The mix of influences includes 'Turn of the Screw', 'Rosemary's Baby' 'Burn Witch Burn and a few other classics but that is to give nothing away for it absorbs them into something quite new. My only criticism would be there is something a little confined about the movie--especially at its start-- but its style and pace and excitement utilise this triumphantly by the end.
A young care worker moves from a hospice to the home of an elderly couple in New Orleans where the husband is apparently dying from the after-effects of a stroke. As you might guess, not all is as it seems...A very atmospheric and cleverly worked out story, with some brilliant twists on horror films' usual supernatural conventions. The actors are all very convincing, particularly John Hurt in a role with almost no dialogue. In the final half hour the tension is ramped up beautifully, and the twists have a grimly humorous flavour.I'm not always the best at understanding subtleties in <more>
film story lines but, apart from a few small plot holes, everything here made sense to me. I would say that posters here who say the plot didn't explain itself just need to watch and listen more carefully. I'm delighted to see that some filmmakers can still make a "horror" film that's intelligent, generally scary, and doesn't rely on gore and brutality. A great film.