Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Film Review: The Skeleton Key (2005)

The Skeleton Key (Review)
United States/2005
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

Caroline (Kate Hudson) is a hospice caregiver in New Orleans. She takes a job in a house in the swamps of southern Louisiana taking care of Benjamin Devereaux, a stroke victim with a month to live; Benjamin is solely accompanied by his wife, Violet. Caroline is allowed to stay in the home where she begins to question Violet's intentions, and discovers the home's supernatural history filled with hoodoo rituals.

The story in this film is a supernatural mystery. Caroline suspects foul play as she spends time with Benjamin and explores the mansion. Benjamin, who cannot speak, often acts erratically, is frightened by mirrors, and often asks for help, which sparks Caroline to seek the truth. What's behind the door in the attic? What happened in this house? What does Benjamin see in the mirrors? These are only a few of the many questions that are asked throughout. The ending of the film is surprising and very well-done - the more you think about it, the more chills it delivers; even the most experienced veterans of the genre may not see it coming.

However, much of the film moves at a very slow pace without suspense or actual horror; the film drags due to it lacking significant events and impact. There are a few creepy and effective scenes, but they are vastly outnumbered by nothing; it's hard to remember what took up most of this film's run time. Without suspense or horror, the film tries to survive off of its mystery. The mystery elements are great, but lack the impact - the oomph - to make it captivating. As previously mentioned, the final act of this film seems to be the most memorable and well-rounded.

The acting in the film is good. Most of the cast did a great job with the accents and such. However, Kate Hudson's performance is mostly bland as she often speaks and reacts with very little emotion; not until the ending do we see some actual acting from Kate Hudson, which is unfortunate since she is the lead. The old house setting is great; it creates a dark atmosphere for the film. The music matched the setting, as well.

Overall, The Skeleton Key is a good supernatural horror-mystery. It's worth watching for the amazing ending; however, don't expect the scariest film of all time, since the horror elements are mostly ineffective. Also, prepare yourself for its slow pace. I recommend a purchase for fans of the genre, a rental otherwise.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some violence.

No comments:

Post a Comment