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The Skeleton Key (2005)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 76,689 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 362 user | 190 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A hospice nurse working at a spooky New Orleans plantation home finds herself entangled in a mystery involving the house's dark past.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ben Devereaux
...
...
Jill
Maxine Barnett ...
Mama Cynthia
Fahnlohnee R. Harris ...
Hallie (as Fahnlohnee Harris)
Marion Zinser ...
Bayou Woman
...
Desk Nurse
...
C.N.A.
Trula M. Marcus ...
Nurse Trula (as Trula Marcus)
Tonya Staten ...
Nurse Audrey
...
Robertson Thorpe (as Tom Uskali)
...
Madeleine Thorpe
...
Martin Thorpe
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Storyline

A young woman helping care for an invalid in New Orleans finds herself caught in the middle of morbid going-ons centered around a group of Hoodoo practitioners. Written by Ed

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You will believe. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, some partial nudity and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

12 August 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der verbotene Schlüssel  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$43,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$103,646 (Hong Kong) (23 September 2005)

Gross:

$47,806,295 (USA) (21 October 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the opening of the film, the book that Caroline is reading to the hospice patient is Robert Louis Stevenson's "Treasure Island." Toward the beginning of that work, Jim Hawkins is caring for the elderly Billy Bones after the man has a stroke. Caroline begins her ordeal in the same way: taking care of the elderly Ben Devereaux post-stroke. See more »

Goofs

When Caroline is showing Jill the newspaper ad for the hospice job, she has circled it numerous times with wide pen strokes. When Jill looks at it again, the pen strokes have obviously changed positions, more an oval shape. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Caroline Ellis: [reading from Treasure Island] I lost no time, of course, in telling my mother all that I knew, and we saw ourselves at once in a difficult and dangerous position. Something must speedily be resolved upon, and it occurred to us at last to go forth together and seek help in the neighboring hamlet. No sooner said than done. Bare-headed as we were, we ran out at once into the gathering evening and the frosty fog. The hamlet lay not many hundred yards away, though out of view on the ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Andy Barker, P.I.: The Big No Sleep (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Do Whatcha Wanna
Written by Keith Frazier, Philip Frazier, Kermit Ruffins
Performed by ReBirth Brass Band (as The Rebirth Brass Band)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hoodoo!! Whodunit!!
3 October 2005 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

In case you haven't seen "The Skeleton Key" yet, be very careful when reading any reviews... The less you hear, read or even know about this film the better, because I assure that you don't want to pick up any spoilers about this surprisingly original and ingenious horror-story. "The Skeleton Key" is an old-fashioned, powerful and – above all – well written haunted house thriller with great acting, macabre scenery and a shocking twist-ending that stands as one of the best I've ever seen in modern cinema. Beautifully set in the swampy region of New Orleans (morbidly enough, I saw this film shortly after the hurricane Katrina disaster), the story introduces a young nurse who moves into the ominous Deveraux mansion to look after its dying owner Ben. He had a nearly-fatal stroke in the dark attic of the house and, even though it looks like it was because of his old age, Caroline soon starts to suspect that something (or someone) nearly frightened him to death. Ben's wife Violet behaves very strangely and the old house's vicious history forces Caroline to investigate what could have happened. She discovers that the earliest occupants of the house practiced Hoodoo, which is a more spiritual variant of Voodoo... That's really all you can say about the story without giving away essential clues but, trust me, the rest of the film is definitely worth checking out yourself. Fans of atmospheric ghost stories (such as "The Others" or "Angel Heart") will particularly enjoy this film as it contains almost no graphic violence or gory monsters. Instead of blood, there's a wide collection of truly eerie set-pieces and subtle frights. Kate Hudson delivers a great performance, especially because she's not really familiar with the horror genre. She receives good feedback from Gena Rowlands, Peter Sarsgaard and – of course – John Hurt. The latter is always genius, even when he hardly has any lines. Highly recommended!


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