The Skeleton Key



Ah, The Skeleton Key. The latest (well, when it came out it was the latest) in a (too) long line of alleged horror movies starring respectable actresses. It seems they all have one, and they are all uniformly bad. And since this one is written by Ehren Kruger, one of the worst prolific screenwriters in recent memory (he also bestowed upon us Scream 3, Reindeer Games, and The Ring Two), I figured I would be in for one god awful ride.

So I was surprised to find the movie was merely dull. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone except Peter Sarsgaard completists, but I never once wanted to kick my TV and defecate on the disc, so there's something. And it's got sort of a downer ending, which is odd when you consider it's a big budget, big studio PG-13 horror movie.

Kate Hudson is damned hot when you can't see her ridiculous ears, and we even get some side boob, so the movie at least manages to occasionally hold your attention. But, and it seems like I've said this a million times, the film's story isn't complex or deep enough to warrant a full length film. This could have certainly been done in a Twilight Zone or Masters of Horror episode. By stretching it out to 1:40, we get lots of padding and extraneous shoe leather, not to mention a healthy dose of repetition.

As you may have noticed, I watched this on HD DVD. Which means I won't be watching the commentary or most of the extras, since I can't bring myself to listen to commentaries at home anymore. That's a "work watch". I did check out the deleteds, but they were mostly useless.

According to the Wikipedia page for this movie, "the house resembles the one used in the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". No it fucking does not. And even if it did, how the hell is that trivia? Christ.

What say you?


  1. While I agree that this could have been easily made into a 30 minute episode of an anthology series, I actually dug the hell out of it. With the exception of "Arlington Rd." and parts of "The Ring," I'm not much on Krueger. However, I think Ian Softley did a great job building a ton of suspense, and the ending was brilliant and very non-Hollywood, so I dug that as well. Peter Sarsgard, however, I am not a completist. I found him to be the worst thing about this film and overall a highly overrated actor. Between this performance, "Flightplan," and more recently, "Year of the Dog," I think he should get the honorary razzie for the decade's worst actor. But that's just me.

  2. This movie was disappointing. Also the word Hoodoo just doesn't sound as scary as its more popular cousin, Voodoo.

  3. Yeah I found that I have a soft spot for this movie as well. I like Kate's character...I like the way they introduced her which gives us instant sympathy for her as she tries to "make it" on her own. Hell, that's more plot than half a dozen horror movies I've seen in the last few years.

    Anyway...her ass is hot. (And so is the side of her boob)

    And the downer ending was a great twist and, as you said, unexpected for that time of movie.

    And Sarsgard was the worst thing about the movie. I had liked him up to that point but he was acting in another film. (And I watched Year of the Dog this weekend....I won't get started on what an odd film that least it had a dog named Pencil in it. lol. Whatever it's 3 am.

  4. side boob? kate hudson? does she even have boobs? :P

    i wasn't able to see the film...seems i didn't miss much...

  5. Hi BC,

    I like Kate Hudson. And I liked the suspense aspect of the movie in question. Also, as many others have already pointed out, the ending was anti-Hollywood, depressing and creepy, and thus splendid.


  6. Yayness. Someone else who doesn't worship at the shrine of Ehren Kruger. Though Arlington Road wasn't that bad. I think your review was pretty spot-on, except I don't care for Miss Hudson's side boob or think her ears are weird.

    I liked that this didn't have a happy ending, but I'm not sure if that was worth the boredom that I suffered. ;)

  7. I forgot Arlington Road... another big studio movie with a downer ending. Well thats 2 for him (well 3 if you count The Ring, which I don't because someone else wrote it first)... but they are outweighed by the awfulness of the 3 I mentioned.

    And if there's a shrine to him... I should like to visit. And kick it.

  8. I actually really liked this movie. I thought for sure that I'd hate it. Geez... wtf is Kate Hudson doing some crap ass movie about voodoo. Then the rolling of the eyes. Then a friend of mine convinced me to watch it. Not the best movie ever, but maybe since I went in with such low expectations, that made me like it more.

    I have to give them kudos for the awesome unhappily ever after ending. I LOVE when movies do that, but so few do even when that's the ending that makes the most sense. Everything is always wrapped up in some crappy, cutesy little bow. Screw that, let the bad guys live for a change. Rock on evil voodoo couple!

  9. Well I hate to say it, but I liked the movie, the final scene when I realized what has happening was really creepy!


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