The Skeleton Key
Review written on: October 31st, 2005

The Skeleton Key Review

While I’m not much into the whole New Orleans, Louisiana superstitious voodoo stuff, this movie was pretty good. Then again, I think Kate Hudson is wonderful in everything she does. Hudson plays Caroline, a young woman hired to care for a recent stroke victim, played by John Hurt. His wife Violet (Gena Rowlands) is a little off her rocker. She seems to be devastated by her husband’s impending death, and dealing with the reality of her own mortality. Her estate lawyer (Peter Sarsgaard) helps find and hire Caroline to ease the pressure on Violet.

Violet gives Caroline a skeleton key, that will unlock any door in the house. While looking around the house, Caroline finds a door in the attic that the skeleton key doesn’t open. Later that night, she gets into that room, and finds “hoodoo” things…shrunken heads, body parts in jars, and whatnot. As the story unfolds, Violet tells Caroline the story of the people that used to live in the house. Violet strongly believes in ghosts and believes the ghosts of the house caused her husband’s stroke. Caroline finds herself falling deeper into the story of the house, and consulting the estate lawyer for help.

The ending is somewhat of a twist ending, and yet somehow expected, depending on how much you let yourself believe in the story. It’s not an M. Night Shyamalan-twist ending, but it’s decent.

The movie was pretty good overall. Gena Rowlands is convincing as crazy old lady right from the start. Peter Sarsgaard plays his charming estate lawyer act well. And, like I said earlier, I love everything Kate Hudson does. Definitely add this to your Netflix queue.


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