Sadly, I found The Skeleton Key disappointing.
Being the wimp I am, I tend to miss horror flicks because I figure they’ll freak me out. But I decided The Skeleton Key would be a good choice to get me back in the theater, because I’ve always liked that whole “Southern Gothic” thing. There’s just something cool about old mansions crawling with a viny overgrowth. The swampy marshes oozing with inexplicable smoke and creepy crawlies (you know, reptiles!). The inevitable (and likely disfigured or handicapped) recluse that usually serves as the source of exposition. It all just works for me. Voodoo’s never really done it for me, but when mixed with Southern Gothic (remember Eve’s Bayou?) it works nicely.
And besides, I like Kate Hudson!
Well, The Skeleton Key has all of the above, and yet I walked out of the theater disappointed. Sad really.
Kate Hudson is great as a hospice worker that takes a job in an aforementioned old time house, to look after a stroke victim, played silently but brilliantly by John Hurt. His wife, played by the always great Gena Rowlands, sets the rules about what Kate’s character should and shouldn’t be doing. But like any good protagonist, she breaks the rules, and sure enough, things go bump in the night.
Will Kate solve the mystery?
Is she actually Goldie Hawn's clone and not just her daughter?
Will the excellent actor Peter Saarsgard ever play a truly nice guy? Was that a spoiler?
Sadly, will anybody really care?
Unfortunately, in the end, I didn’t care much.
The movie looks kinda cool as directed by Iain Softley, but the script by Ehren Kruger, with as much potential as it had, ended up rather week. He also wrote THE RING, and gave me many a sleepless night. Here unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately?) I’ll sleep like a baby.
This isn’t a terrible movie, and could perhaps be a nice little rental for you soon enough, but save the ever rising cost of movie tickets (and the infernal price of gas!!!) and don’t bother seeing this one theatrically.