6.5/10
94,141
380 user 194 critic

The Skeleton Key (2005)

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

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
4,013 ( 830)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gothika (2003)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A repressed female psychiatrist wakes up as a patient in the asylum where she worked, with no memory of why she is there or what she has done.

Director: Mathieu Kassovitz
Stars: Halle Berry, Penélope Cruz, Robert Downey Jr.
The Uninvited (2009)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Anna returns home after a stint in a mental hospital, but her recovery is jeopardized by her cruel stepmother and ghastly visions of her dead mother.

Directors: Charles Guard, Thomas Guard
Stars: Emily Browning, Arielle Kebbel, Elizabeth Banks
Case 39 (2009)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A social worker fights to save a girl from her abusive parents, only to discover that the situation is more dangerous than she ever expected.

Director: Christian Alvart
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Ian McShane, Jodelle Ferland
Hide and Seek (2005)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

As a widower tries to piece together his life in the wake of his wife's suicide, his daughter finds solace, at first, in her imaginary friend.

Director: John Polson
Stars: Robert De Niro, Dakota Fanning, Famke Janssen
Orphan (2009)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A husband and wife who recently lost their baby adopt a 9 year-old girl who is not nearly as innocent as she claims to be.

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Stars: Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Isabelle Fuhrman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Maxine Barnett ...
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
Edit

Storyline

A young hospice worker helping care for an invalid who lives in a remote mansion in the Louisiana bayous finds herself caught in the middle of morbid happenings centered around a group of Hoodoo practitioners. Written by Ed

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It can open any door. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 August 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der verbotene Schlüssel  »

Box Office

Budget:

$43,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€913,130 (Spain) (31 July 2005)

Gross:

$47,806,295 (USA) (23 October 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ronald McCall had to cut his dreadlocks to play the character of Papa Justify. See more »

Goofs

After Caroline decides not to throw her patient's belongings in the trash container, the lid is lifted up (by an off screen crew member) before she grabs it in order to close it. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of 'The Skeleton Key' (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Come On in My Kitchen
Written by Robert Johnson
Performed by Robert Johnson
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
still spooked by the ending
12 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Part of the success of this type of movie is setting up and making sure its resolution lives up to its expectations. I must say that in this film everything seems to work, and yet... I'm not sure what spooked more: its ending or the nature of its ending.

The film deals with the adventures of a young care worker in the middle of Louisiana. The atmospheric surroundings, the haunting score, beautiful, spooky photography, and some very good acting by Rowlands and Kate Hudson raise the bar for upcoming "horror films". We're glued to the screen for nearly two hours, as things become more mysterious and intriguing. A few times we're treated to a jolt and a revelation, but what closes the film is bound to ruffle a few feathers.

Above all, this is a very good movie, with a script that doesn't cheat anyone and doesn't rely on silly gimmicks. Those factors should portend good tidings for its success in its original release, but it will probably become a classic of its kind. The heroine in distress manages to be smarter than the usual stereotype. She wants to explore the surroundings and solve the problem. The problem is she has no idea how bad the situation might be.

Gena Rowlands provides her character with nuances rarely seen in this type of film. She is a strange character and hooks up the audience from the very beginning. There is no really an archetype for what Rowlands brings to life. A few might find the previous statement questionable, but if you look closely to the development of her character, it is almost an original.

Kate Hudson makes a very strong impression in this film. She goes beyond the pretty actress to an accomplished performer who matches up to Rowland's intensity. She navigates the film with an ease rarely seen in today's roster of plastic pre-packaged pseudo celebrities. It is refreshing to see an actress make you care for the character that has so often been portrayed as an offensive stereotype. There no gratitude's screaming scenes here. The film reminds me of "The Others", a movie with substance and intelligence.

This is a film that I will highly recommend to my friends, particularly because I want to hear what they have to say about that ending.


179 of 240 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page