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The Skeleton Key
DVD disk
12.07.2005 By: Sturdy
The Skeleton Key order
Director:
Iain Softley

Actors:
Kate Hudson
Gena Rowlands
John Hurt

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young hospice nurse takes a job caring for a womanís stroke-ridden husband. Soon she finds more than she bargains for as she unlocks a mystery of voodoo/hoodoo that will have her questioning her beliefs.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
One of the themes of the movie is that you are only subjectable to certain fears if you believe in them. That idea works well for suspenseful and scary movies that deal with any type of religion or magic. In other words, it will only be suspenseful or scary if you believe in whatever religion or magic is in question. In this case, the magic in question is hoodoo, and the plot and idea of the film is both original and interesting.

The film itself, however, doesnít quite do the idea justice and you find yourself wanting a deeper exploration into the history and idea of the voodoo/hoodoo beliefs. Instead, the film focuses too much on Kate Hudsonís character and not enough on the hoodoo. Speaking of Kate Hudson; what happened to her? She was brilliant and beautiful in ALMOST FAMOUS and since then has failed to live up to that performance.

The creepiest images were during the flashbacks and the movie wouldíve been better with more historical scenes. I also would have liked for them to use the back-drop of New Orleans and the deep South more efficiently. Thatís not to say it didnít creep me out, because it did. But I still wanted more.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary with director Iain Softley: Iain is an interesting enough guy, but as with most single commentators, he tends to let it slip off for long dead spots. He gives homage to New Orleans and the cast and crew.

Deleted scenes (21:30): Some of these were decent and added to the creepy feel. Theyíre worth a gander if you dug the film.

Behind the Locked Door - Making The Skeleton Key (5:24): Standard stuff here. Some interviews with cast and crew but nothing too exciting.

Casting The Skeleton Key (9:15): I found this to be an overly long featurette about the choice in casting for the movie. Thereís a little sequence about all the stars and what they brought to the movie.

Exploring Voodoo/Hoodoo (4:14): This oneís kind of interesting. Itís a quick look at real voodoo people from the south. Iím not saying I believe, but letís just say Iím not going to make fun of them.

Blues in the Bayou (6:09): This is nice, especially for those of us that miss New Orleans and remember how big a part music was (is) to that city.

Recipe and Ritual: Making the Perfect Gumbo (3:20): We follow a dude around while he prepares a tasty gumbo recipe. At least, it looked tasty, I didnít make it. But I might.

Plantation Life (3:34): This is a short featurette about the house used in the movie.

A House Called Felicity (5:19): This should have been combined with the above featurette. This one deals with what the set designers had to add to the house.

Kate Hudsonís Ghost Story (2:31): Kate sits and chats about weird things that have happened to her.

John Hurtís Story (3:30): John Hurt reading a ghost story. No, I donít know why either.

Gena Love Spell (1:20): Gena Rowlands reading a voodoo love spell. Again, I donít know why.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
There are definitely worse horror/suspense hybrids out there and this one will give you the creeps for several days after you see it. I still feel it could have been more, but overall it did its job.
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