Up 34 this week

The Skeleton Key (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  12 August 2005 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 81,946 users   Metascore: 47/100
Reviews: 367 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.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 30 Mar 2012
a list of 30 titles
created 27 Apr 2013
a list of 43 titles
created 13 Jul 2014
a list of 42 titles
created 1 month ago

Related Items

Search for "The Skeleton Key" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Skeleton Key (2005)

The Skeleton Key (2005) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Skeleton Key.

User Polls

5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gothika (2003)
Horror | 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.
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
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
Hide and Seek (2005)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    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
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The wife of a university research scientist believes that her lakeside Vermont home is haunted by a ghost - or that she is losing her mind.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Harrison Ford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Katharine Towne
Mirrors I (2008)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An ex-cop and his family are the target of an evil force that is using mirrors as a gateway into their home.

Director: Alexandre Aja
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Paula Patton, Amy Smart
The Others (2001)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.

Director: Alejandro Amenábar
Stars: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan
1408 (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A man who specializes in debunking paranormal occurrences checks into the fabled room 1408 in the Dolphin Hotel. Soon after settling in, he confronts genuine terror.

Director: Mikael Håfström
Stars: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Mary McCormack
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A lawyer takes on a negligent homicide case involving a priest who performed an exorcism on a young girl.

Director: Scott Derrickson
Stars: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Shohreh Aghdashloo
Ghost Ship (2002)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A salvage crew that discovers a long-lost 1962 passenger ship floating lifeless in a remote region of the Bering Sea soon notices, as they prepare to tow it back to land, that "strange things" happen...

Director: Steve Beck
Stars: Julianna Margulies, Gabriel Byrne, Ron Eldard
Dead Silence (2007)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife's murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist.

Director: James Wan
Stars: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg
The Uninvited (2009)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Anna Rydell returns home to her sister (and best friend) Alex after a stint in a mental hospital, though her recovery is jeopardized thanks to her cruel stepmother, aloof father, and the presence of a ghost in their home.

Directors: Charles Guard, Thomas Guard
Stars: Emily Browning, Arielle Kebbel, Elizabeth Banks


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


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


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:



Official Sites:

| |  »





Release Date:

12 August 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der verbotene Schlüssel  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$43,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£769,698 (UK) (29 July 2005)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Hurt offered to perform the stunt of Ben falling off the roof, but he was not allowed as the stunt was ruled too dangerous to guarantee no injury. See more »


Toward the beginning of the movie, Caroline takes a shower and goes to sleep. She is awoken by Ben crawling on the roof and goes outside to save him. The rain makes her faces drip mascara, which she never had time to put on since her shower. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Kate Hudson (2005) See more »


Iko Iko
Written by Rosa Lee Hawkins, Barbara Ann Hawkins, Joan Marie Johnson
Performed by The Dixie Cups
Courtesy of Sun Entertainment Corp.
By Arrangement with Nola Leone/Ace Music Services
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!

84 of 114 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Any other uncommon horror movies like this? RodrigoMachadoMartins
Why was Caroline so nosy, demanding and snippy? Karma-For-You
Violet bbe225
Creepy Conjuration Record spikey_125
At a total loss whitney-tracy-1972
Is it not stupidly unrealistic that the servants would be burnt... BitOfFun
Discuss The Skeleton Key (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: