6.5/10
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The Skeleton Key (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 12 August 2005 (USA)
Trailer
2:18 | Trailer
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
4,983 ( 767)
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

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:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir 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 »

Goofs

When Caroline makes a 911 call, she gives the street address of the house and says it's "in Terrebone Parish." Parishes are like counties in that they are composed of many, many different small towns and cities. She would have to give a specific city/town name in order for emergency vehicles to get there. However, because the house isn't located in any particular town (but rather out in the swampland), it is more likely that the address given to 911 by Caroline IS the full address, and that what is supposed to be a street name is actually just a name of a very scarcely settled small town with no particular streets. Thus, an address consisting of just a town name and house number would be legitimate. 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 »


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

 
"You see things... in the mirrors." - Violet Devereaux
16 August 2005 | by MichaelMargetisSee all my reviews

The latest psychological thriller, 'The Skeleton Key', follows a young hospice nurse taking care of a disturbed patient in the creepy and swampy bayous of Louisana. Kate Hudson plays the hospice nurse, Caroline. Caroline is a kind, brave but very curious caretaker which gets her into trouble sometimes. When her previous patient passes away, Caroline is sent for to live in a spooky farmhouse in the bayou, and take care of an old senile man, Ben Devereaux (John Hurt - Owning Mahoney) who is pretty much paralyzed from a stroke he recently had. Caroline lives in the house with Ben and his typical old Southern housewife, Violet Devereaux (Gena Rowlands - Hysterical Blindness). Everything seems to be going fine until some freaky stuff starts to happen that isn't easily explained. Violet later tells Caroline the house is haunted with the spirits of slave voodoo enthusiasts. And so starts the creepy tale that is the 'Skeleton Key' with great acting, cool visuals but a lagging screenplay.

'The Skeleton Key' starts off very slow, then towards the middle picks up pace, then it's slow again, then it concludes with a fantastic and unpredictable ending. Part of the reason I'm giving 'The Skeleton Key' a good review, is because the ending makes up for the constant dragging of the film. It's not so much that the screenplay is bad, it's actually quite intriguing, it's just that a lot of time could have been shaved off of the final cut of 'The Skeleton Key' and it could have made as much sense and ultimately flow a hell of a lot more smoothly. I was expecting a scary movie out of 'The Skeleton Key', and got a movie that was just kind of creepy. If you want to see crazy and terrifying ghost visuals and blood 'The Skeleton Key' is definitely going to disappoint you, but if you want a film with more psychological terror then you'll enjoy 'The Skeleton Key'. Kate Hudson gives a solid performance as the lead Caroline. Gena Rowlands is fantastic as the o'le southern housewife, and John Hurt is great as the gorked out husband, who really only has one or two lines. The film also stars Peter Sarsgaard in a near-riveting performance as the small town's estate lawyer, who Kate Hudson becomes attracted to. The four leads work great together, and nobody in the film seems out of place.

If you see 'The Skeleton Key' don't be expecting this year's 'Sixth Sense' because it's no where near that caliber. I think the less you expect out of 'The Skeleton Key' prior to seeing it, the more you will get out of it. Try not to fall asleep during the more tedious parts of the film, because you need to really pay close attention to the film to get the ending. Really, if it wasn't for the shock ending I wouldn't recommend 'The Skeleton Key', and with the shock ending I loosely recommend it for theaters. Grade: B- (screened at AMC Deer Valley 30, Phoenix, Arizona, 8/15/05)

my ratings guide - A+ (absolutley flawless); A (a masterpiece, near-perfect); A- (excellent); B+ (great); B (very good); B- (good); C+ (a mixed bag); C (average); C- (disappointing); D+ (bad); D (very bad); D- (absolutley horrendous); F (not one redeeming quality in this hunk of Hollywood feces).


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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:

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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