Monday, May 24, 2010

The Skeleton Key Review

The Skeleton Key Poster

I purposely avoided The Skeleton Key when it came out for a couple of reasons. First and foremost I don’t traditionally like Kate Hudson. In fact, I can’t stand her movie choices, so I waited a few years, and now that I have time on my hands, have no job, no money, and no prospects, I can’t go further down to rock bottom, so I took a chance at a movie I wouldn’t like and man, I was proven wrong.

The Skeleton Key has a simple plot with some incredible twists, that aren’t so incredible when you reduce them down to the same plot twists found in The Twilight Zone, but in the process of trying to figure it all out, you realize that you’ve been outsmarted with relatively ease.

The movie’s plot revolves around a hospice care worker that has decided to work for an older couple in the New Orleans area. She meets a lawyer that is helping with the affairs of the older couple, and is given a special key to unlock every door in the house, with exception of one, the attic-hidden door. When the older man the nurse (Hudson) is taking care of starts to try and escape, and give signals that he is being poisoned or something, his villainous wife takes exception and things start to go awry.

This movie has all the great pieces to making a good creepy movie. There are some foreshadowed plot turns, but at the time of their reveal, you’re not sure how they are connected. After you watch the film and start thinking more, you start to realize that the filmmakers left b read crumbs to tie everything together at the end. But you won’t notice them, because the creep factor rises with each tense scene.

Much like classic mystery stories, there are several plot twists, and some of which, I can’t really tell you without going into an elaborate piece of writing. I know this much, when the evil lawyer (whom I suspected was evil all along) tries to kill our main character, I thought this movie was too predictable, then there was a wrench thrown at me, and there were two or three more major plot turns, that made this movie so much better than the critics reviews said about the film.

The visuals are great, the editing and the angles make you take notice. I never thought I’d say this, but Kate Hudson is quite lovely in this film and had me hooked from the beginning. I usually do not like her acting, nor do I like her movies, but she had me nearly drooling at one point, and even the pg-13 shower scene had me going. But more importantly, her subdued, “concerned nurse” character really fooled me, and I cared when in the end, the final reveal left her smoking….and I will leave it at that.

Is The Skeleton Key A Scary Film?: Yes.

It is scary for a reason I’ve cited on this blog in the past; I believe in demonic possession. I know, I’m going to lose some fans on this one, but after reading first hand accounts and seeing it with my own eyes, demonic possession has to be real. Well, if not, then people can truly be nuts, and well, this film has some people that are nuts. The scary moments of this film deals with the voodoo in a way, and it’s interesting to see. Being a person of faith, I found that there were some creepy moments in this film that hit home on a lot of levels. Whether it was Kate Hudson’s night terrors, the foreshadowing and construction of ghost myths only to showcase a sense of possession, the film has a lot of meaning in some very subtle and overt ways.

There is no gore, and I liked that there was a sense of horror, without using cheap thrills. I liked the pacing, and I thought that the twists were put in the right place, and the tension and payoff was quite good.

I’d recommend checking out The Skeleton Key. I don’t think it’s the greatest film in the world, but it had a nice throwback to the classic horror, and a little nod to the Twilight zone, where I first saw the final plot twist. I’m sure not everyone will agree, but I think that this film is underrated as a patchwork of ideas, rather than a clear-cut thriller/horror film.

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A writer first, cat lover second, and some other stuff too. Human, with lots of faults, and terrible communication.
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