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The Skeleton Key (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Horror, Mystery | 12 August 2005 (USA)
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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.

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4,101 ( 150)
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Caroline Ellis
... Violet Devereaux
... Ben Devereaux
... Luke Marshall
... Jill
Maxine Barnett ... Mama Cynthia
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
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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:

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Details

Official Sites:

UIP [Brazil] | UIP [Spain] |  »

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

12 August 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der verbotene Schlüssel  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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 is showing Jill the newspaper ad for the hospice job, she has circled it numerous times with wide pen strokes. When Jill looks at it again, the pen strokes have obviously changed positions, more an oval shape. 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 Andy Barker, P.I.: The Big No Sleep (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
still spooked by the ending
12 August 2005 | by 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.


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