The Skeleton Key - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Skeleton Key Reviews

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June 10, 2016
great acting , spooky Bayou environment and a great twist at the end all add up to make this a true horror classic
½ May 9, 2016
Well written and acted thriller! If you haven't seen it check out this movie!
April 2, 2016
never forget the ending!
½ March 7, 2016
Much better than the headline rating suggests - there are subtle, concealed, thought-provoking elements to the plot which should have raised this film well above the "formulaic" accusations being made. The flaw - and it is a significant one - is that the first half hour is as dull as hell and fails to engage the audience with the characters.
March 2, 2016
Hudson rubbing her hands, closing her eyes, and rocking her head back and forth in one scene is just too corny and stupid in order to watch the whole movie!
December 29, 2015
This horror took a long time to get going. I fell in and out of sleep during the second half so can't realy say if it's good or not, just that it wasn't good enough to keep me awake.
November 14, 2015
Atmospheric and frightening, that is all that a good horror movie should have. This one has them both.
November 2, 2015
It works as a psychological thriller if not an authentic voodoo tale. If this were a mathematical geometry problem,
the ending is phenomenal and a wonderful 'proof' to the whole story.
October 31, 2015
Great story. Scary without use of gore or shock. Satisfying plot. Slow and beautiful.
October 19, 2015
This movie has skill and a worthy technique, which is a lost art in most modern horror movies. The movie does a good job of establishing collection of characters that matter and introducing an appropriately eerie setting in the backwoods of Louisiana. Next, the movie introduces us to Hoodoo, which differs from Voodoo. The Hoodoo plot device is a refreshingly different strategy for inducing terror in a horror movie. It is full of mystery, old-time history, and the discomfort of witch-like black magic. The pacing is good; it knows not to rush things. There are important pieces of information in the carefully constructed start that form a picture of what lies ahead. At first, it seems all too straightforward and disappointingly predicable. You think it might still be enjoyable enough if you try to take in the journey and silently put the obvious ending out of mind. This is where the movie exceeds expectations, with a delightfully dramatic set of twists and surprises. It finishes of with tension and action that comes from the right place with its strong story building. The environment of the remote swamplands and the old plantation mansion deliver, as they should. This story is clever and tight, but it may take more than one watch to put all the pieces together fully. Kate Hudson gives us a rare reminder that she can act when she feels like it. Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, and Peter Sarsgaard are all well above-average castings for a horror flick as well. This is a very pleasant surprise if you like a more involved scary movie with mystery, plot, characters and substance.
½ October 6, 2015
I saw it a while ago when I still had HBO, and I want to see it again for a better gauge.
August 15, 2015
Great film, good plot twists.
August 15, 2015
A long and boring snoozer..
½ August 10, 2015
Garbage. pure and simple
½ August 5, 2015
Interesting film but not particularly scary
½ July 22, 2015
I love how the movies portray the backwoods of Louisiana to be wet, gatored-out danger zones of Voodoo, gas station dwelling creeps, and crumbling mansions - it's overtly ridiculous, but I'll be the first to admit that sometimes a little fried Southern spookiness is unbeatable. 1964's "Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte" emphasized madness and tangled itself up with Tennessee Williams-esque melodrama; 1981's "The Beyond" seemed to act as one big, inconceivable nightmare only cautioning Northerners to stay away from the South. Isn't it great how a setting can go from point of interest to secondary character in a matter of seconds? How gothic terror can seem slightly creepier as long as spells, potions, and psychological collapse are involved?
The movie doing the Louisiana-based pigeonholing this time around is 2005's "The Skeleton Key", a shadow infused but ultimately safe horror movie that greatly depends on the star quality of Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, and John Hurt (the latter two hamming it up with the former emulating Deborah Kerr or Claire Bloom). It's passably entertaining, but there's something very been-there-done-that about it, either because of Hudson's character's unwillingness to hear out the handful of helpful hints to get out of the stereotyped Southern backwoods or because the "big reveal" is less shocking and more wince-inducing.
Hudson convinces as Caroline Ellis, a young caretaker hired to serve the dying Ben Deveraux (Hurt). The victim of a crippling stroke, Ben cannot move or speak, but something in the air suggests that something other than mere bad health was responsible. The Deveraux household, it seems, has a long history, a history involving death, Hoodoo (not Voodoo), and other supernatural occurrences. Most, in their good senses, would get as far away from possible from the creepy, crumbling mansion. Not Violet. Despite the fact that the matriarch of the home, Violet (Rowlands), is a suspicious figure, despite the fact that Caroline's skeleton key opens everything in the house besides a shady room in the attic, despite the fact that locals warn her that the Deveraux estate is not one to be trusted, she goes out of her way to not only commit to job, but also to solve the mystery that surrounds her new job. Tsk tsk.
The biggest problem in "The Skeleton Key" lies in the fact that most people with common sense would leave its ghastly backwood setting in a hasty sprint - Caroline, on the other hand, decides it would be best to put her life on the line for the sake of curiosity. But curiosity kills cats, and "The Skeleton Key" works on a premise we never quite believe. There's no way someone in Caroline's position would stay as long as she does. I wouldn't. As the film spirals into a disturbing ending that puts its lead heroine in grave danger, we aren't thrilled, rather smirking that this wouldn't have happened if she would have just let her intuition shut up for a second.
But "The Skeleton Key" is made with a great deal of competence, and that, that, I can admire. It's B-movie material, but because Softley pretends it's better than it is, scares do make their way onto the scene and are delivered effectively. The mansion is a perfect balance of gothic chilliness and candlelit spooks, seemingly gorgeous by day; the way Hurt's silent performance is completely made of unfiltered dread only awakens our own. And Rowlands, chewing the scenery like a "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" era Bette Davis, is a deliciously theatrical villain. I just wish "The Skeleton Key" was more original; while well-made, it's nothing we haven't seen before.
½ July 14, 2015
Crazy story... Amazing twists in the story! Love Kate Hudson!!!
June 28, 2015
Decent ending to a mediocre film.
½ June 23, 2015
The Skeleton Key is an excellent story with a killer twist ending, but it's not scary. If only!!! This really could have been something. It's stylish, well-acted and well-written. It just needs to be scary. I mean, it is a horror movie after all....
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