Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Skeleton Key

To avoid the silly cliche "Skeleton Key unlocks..." headline, I'm not doing a headline at all. I couldn't do it justice anyway, so I won't even try. This movie was surprising. I had read some not-so-flattering reviews of this movie, but decided to go see it anyway. I had forgotten that my usual movie partner has an issue with Kate Hudson when I suggested it, but she went anyway, and we both ended up enjoying the film immensely.

The creepiness starts when Kate's character, Caroline, takes a job as a hospice nurse for an old man in the Louisiana bayou. He had a stroke while in the attic one day, and his wife is having trouble taking care of him, though she won't admit it. So they live in this huge, old plantation home with a long driveway that has a canopy of massive trees with swinging moss. Actually, it looks a lot like the house in Forrest Gump. My friend and I spent a few seconds amusing ourselves by whispering classic Forrest Gump quotes when the house was first introduced. But then the action really started, so we stopped whispering and paid more attention to the movie. And what a movie it was!

I have been waiting for a truly creepy movie, and this one fit all my requirements. It uses all the elements of a classic creepy movie, such as the rattling door and the key that unlocks every room but one (which also is the one that rattles, by the way) and the strange people who live in the huge house. Add in the Louisiana bayou and all the superstitions that surround it, and you've got yourself one heck of a creep-fest. The story surrounds the practice of hoodoo, which is like voodoo but, as they say in the movie, "voodoo is a religion, but hoodoo has nothing to do with God."

One very interesting and intriguing element of this story is the fact that hoodoo seems to not work until you believe in it, which inspires a lot of conversation afterward, if you're into that sort of deep, exestential, religious conversation, that is. My friend and I had a good time talking about things that don't work unless you believe in them and came to a consensus that there are such things out there, and that we don't believe in any of them!

It's been a good long while since I've seen a movie that had a twist I couldn't figure out before it actually happened. Movies just don't surprise me like they used to. But this one did. The ending is one twist after another, which leaves you sort of wondering...

Overall, great flick, good suspense, awesome scares, and a fun time at the movies.

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