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

Director:

Iain Softley

Writer:

Ehren Kruger
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3,493 ( 912)
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Hudson ... Caroline Ellis
Gena Rowlands ... Violet Devereaux
John Hurt ... Ben Devereaux
Peter Sarsgaard ... Luke Marshall
Joy Bryant ... Jill
Maxine Barnett ... Mama Cynthia
Fahnlohnee R. Harris Fahnlohnee R. Harris ... Hallie (as Fahnlohnee Harris)
Marion Zinser Marion Zinser ... Bayou Woman
Deneen Tyler ... Desk Nurse
Ann Dalrymple ... C.N.A.
Trula M. Marcus Trula M. Marcus ... Nurse Trula (as Trula Marcus)
Tonya Staten Tonya Staten ... Nurse Audrey
Thomas Uskali ... Robertson Thorpe (as Tom Uskali)
Jen Apgar ... Madeleine Thorpe
Forrest Landis ... Martin Thorpe
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Storyline

Caroline Ellis, a Nurse, quits her job to take care of a elderly man named Ben Devereux who has had a stroke and can't talk. When she gets to the Home in Terrebone parish Louisiana, Ben's wife, Violet Devereux acts suspicious and creepy. The Family Lawyer, Luke Marshall tries to convince her to stay. Caroline ends up staying. She ends up in the attic and she finds a secret room in the attic full of spells, hair and bones used to practice HooDoo. Violet says she has never seen the secret room. Caroline wants to help Ben, she thinks his wife Violet has put a spell on him. She knows HooDoo can't hurt you if you don't believe. Caroline does whatever she can to save Ben from his wife and crazy things start to happen. Written by amberbrigman

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Fearing Is Believing See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the opening of this movie, the book that Caroline (Kate Hudson) 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 had a stroke. Caroline begins her ordeal in the same way: taking care of the elderly Ben Devereaux (Sir John Hurt) post-stroke. See more »

Goofs

The LP record couldn't have been recorded in 1920, since it was only invented in 1948. 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 Charlie Rose: Episode dated 10 August 2005 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Les Clefs de la Prison
Written by John A. Lomax, Alan Lomax
Performed by Elita, Mary and Ella Hoffpauir
Courtesy of Rounder Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Perfectly adequate horror yarn
11 August 2005 | by davideo-2See all my reviews

STAR RATING: ***** The Works **** Just Misses the Mark *** That Little Bit In Between ** Lagging Behind * The Pits

Training to be a nurse, Caroline (Kate Hudson) moves down to New Orleans to care for an elderly man (John Hurt) who is invalid and has little time left to live. However, as events roll on, it becomes clear there may be more to his illness than meets the eye. Especially in relation to his stuck-in-her-ways wife (Gena Rowlands) and the use of Voodoo and the history of the creaky old house they live in, including the room 'no one can go inside...'

In amongst some effective jump scenes, The Skeleton Key also has a lot of depth and development to offer in terms of the story. But this is really a blessing and a curse, because on the one hand it makes the story more involving but on the other it kind of makes it drag on a bit in parts and this makes the film a little boring, especially towards the end.

Performances wise, there's good work from Hudson in the lead, as well as the support from Rowlands and Hurt, saying practically nothing in one of the most crucial roles in the film. Not the best horror film you'll ever see but definitely not the worst and a great stepping stone for Hudson to proceed on her journey into the A list of Hollywood stars. ***


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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

12 August 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Skeleton Key See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$43,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,057,945, 14 August 2005

Gross USA:

$47,907,715

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$93,983,911
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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