The Skeleton Key - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Skeleton Key Reviews

Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 15, 2005
This is a moody, creepy thriller with some genuinely scary moments and a couple of twists that took me completely by surprise.
Top Critic
Jen Chaney
Washington Post
August 12, 2005
The Skeleton Key delivers on all formulaic counts, except one: It never serves up any truly nightmare-inspiring scares.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 12, 2005
A diverting, stylish thriller that, despite pivoting on that and other whoppers, deserves credit for creating an authentic, original vibe.
Top Critic

USA Today
August 12, 2005
This is essentially a haunted-house horror flick that starts off with effectively eerie scenes but devolves into a forced and mildly ridiculous ghost story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 12, 2005
Criminal waste of talent.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 12, 2005
There's lots of bad stuff brewing on the bayou in this occasionally scary but more often silly movie, which wastes some good actors along the way.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
August 12, 2005
A well-intentioned horror film that is weighted down by stellar cast members who for the most part act as if they don't want to be there.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 12, 2005
The film offers a rich gumbo of menace, mystery and magic - and then lets it go cold and mushy in a rainstorm of Hollywood haunted-house huggermugger.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
August 12, 2005
The Skeleton Key is a hoodoo puzzle that's more interesting than scary.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
August 12, 2005
It's basically Rosemary's Baby, Cajun style, with a pinch of Amityville Horror for kick.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
August 12, 2005
The Skeleton Key is strictly summer schlock.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
August 12, 2005
Though the story is as creaky as a plantation porch, Iain Softley's lushly atmospheric The Skeleton Key does offer a few nifty twists on the classic 'woman in peril' picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
August 12, 2005
Neither scary nor thrilling, although it's reasonably entertaining despite an abundance of haunted-house cliches, the usual inexplicable scary-movie behavior and an almost-naked John Hurt.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
August 12, 2005
A formulaic fear-fest with a bare-bones plot, The Skeleton Key is more moody than scary, and Hudson's heroine is unsympathetic.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
August 12, 2005
A stylishly made but disappointingly lightweight psychological horror tale set in the bayou.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
August 12, 2005
A pretty good movie.
| Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 12, 2005
The Skeleton Key looks great and oozes atmosphere, but unfortunately it's the atmosphere of hundreds of haunted house movies before it.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
August 12, 2005
The movie ultimately comes off as a kind of wannabe that doesn't get where it wants to go.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Vic Vogler
Denver Post
August 12, 2005
The Skeleton Key opens a very different door into its tale of black magic in a Louisiana plantation home.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
August 12, 2005
This nasty little movie is communicating with regional and racial cliches from beyond the grave.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
August 11, 2005
Tightly plotted and suspenseful enough to keep you guessing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
August 11, 2005
One of the most enjoyably inane movies of the season, this faux Southern Gothic offers an embarrassment of geek pleasures.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
August 11, 2005
Even with all its florid melodrama, The Skeleton Key seems slow as molasses and not nearly as tasty.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
August 11, 2005
Serviceable but ultimately disappointing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
August 11, 2005
The Skeleton Key is more creaky than creepy, like visiting an expensive haunted house.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
August 11, 2005
[The ending] doesn't quite compensate for the predictable hokum that precedes it.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 11, 2005
A spellbinding chiller.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
August 11, 2005
A gumbo of silly mumbo-jumbo no more frightening than a Mardi Gras mask.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 11, 2005
The Skeleton Key is one of those movies that explains too much while it is explaining too little, and leaves us with a surprise at the end that makes more sense the less we think about it. But the movie's mastery of technique makes up for a lot.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
August 11, 2005
As theme-park attractions go, one can do worse.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Bob Townsend
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
August 11, 2005
The Hollywood cliche factory got its mojo working overtime on this one.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 11, 2005
The Skeleton Key delivers its share of cheap scares but never unlocks the door to the creepiness that would have made this is memorable movie-going experience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Scott Brown
Entertainment Weekly
August 10, 2005
For anyone zombified by creaky thriller cliches, Skeleton is a fine little shot in the head.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Jessica Winter
Village Voice
August 9, 2005
Creaky in its mechanics and numbingly protracted, this is basement B horror that fancies itself a prestige chiller.
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
July 25, 2005
Kruger's surprise ending fails to pack the kind of wallop to justify the momentary head-scratching, while there are too few moments leading up to the big reveal that will give audiences the kind of jolt they're expecting.
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
July 25, 2005
The Skeleton Key is unable to ward off the nasty spirits of formula screenwriting.