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The Skeleton Key (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 12 August 2005 (USA)
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2:22 | Trailer

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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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Popularity
4,781 ( 180)
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 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

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:

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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Details

Official Sites:

UIP [Brazil] | UIP [Spain] | See more »

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

12 August 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der verbotene Schlüssel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$43,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,057,945, 14 August 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$47,806,295, 23 October 2005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$45,081,407, 31 December 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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 Restoration (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Death Letter
Written by Johnny Farmer
Performed by Johnny Farmer
Courtesy of Fat Possum Records, Inc. and Big Legal Mess, LLC
By Arrangement with Wixen Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Hoodoo!! Whodunit!!
3 October 2005 | by CoventrySee 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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