THE SKELETON KEY (2005)

AUGUST 30, 2014

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THE SKELETON KEY has an interesting concept and is handsomely made but is so mired down and morose that it plods along at a snail’s pace and ultimately becomes a chore to watch. 


Caroline (Kate Hudson) takes a job caring for Violet’s (Gena Rowlands) sickly husband Ben (John Hurt) who isn’t long for this world. They live in a rotting old mansion not far from New Orleans, which Caroline explores during her off hours. She soon discovers too late that there’s something not quite “right in Denmark” and realizes that her life as well as her immortal soul might be in jeopardy. 


Stylishly shot and directed by Ian Softley with a script by Ehren Kruger, THE SKELETON KEY is actually quite an intelligent film, but it’s also slow as molasses and other than some jump scares, it’s just not frightening at all. It has the feel of a Hallmark Channel horror film. 


The actors are uniformly good. I forgot how engaging Kate Hudson can be and Peter Sarsgaard who also appears in the film, is in fine form as well. 


I really don’t know what else to say about THE SKELETON KEY other than that it’s completely forgettable. It felt like it would have been better served as a novella or an episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE because it over stays its welcome at feature length.