Yesterday Jonna and I went to see The Skeleton Key, starring Kate Hudson. This was after doing some research on what the critics were saying, and our habitual check of Rotten Tomatoes to make sure that our expectations were set before looking forward to actually enjoying the movie.
Yahoo told us that the movie was getting a C from the critics and a B- from other Yahoo users. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a 40% fresh rating yesterday (checking it today yields a 39%), which is never a good sign when your getting ready to spend 40 bucks on a movie trip. Finally we decided that between The Skeleton Key and The 40 Year Old Virgin, it would be more likely that we would enjoy The Skeleton Key.
Kate Hudson plays Caroline Ellis, a young woman who, driven by the guilt of not being around to take care of her father before he died, has taken a job in a hospital as a care giver for the dying while getting ready to attend nursing school. She becomes disillusioned with the job one day when someone she has been taking care of dies and his body and personal belongings are rushed out of the hospital to make room for more patients and decides to get a job as a hospice worker taking care of the dying in their homes.
She is hired by the lawyer of a woman named Violet Devereaux, played by Gena Rowlands, to care for her invalid husband who has had multiple strokes recently and is expected to die in a months time. Caroline moves into the home to find a complete absence of mirrors, of which it is later explained that the house is haunted by two servants who were “Hoodoo” practitioners and they are often seen in the mirrors – so they have been taken down.
During the time that Caroline is in the house, she begins to realize something about Ben’s condition isn’t quite right. She begins to investigate the religion of the area and begins to suspect that Violet is responsible for Ben’s condition. She decides to try to get Ben out of the house and away from Violet to save his life.
The rest of the movie can’t really be described without giving away the twist of an ending. I will say it was worth seeing, but is best to wait until a DVD release. The movie moves slowly and its hard to get involved with the characters through the bulk of the movie. It is only until the final scenes that things are knitted together.
One thing I will say is that the ending of the movie is quite unexpected and I have actually been thinking about it quite a bit since we left the theater. The ending is satisfying, because it isn’t an ending you would expect from a movie made in Hollywood. If you’re looking for a “happy” ending, this might not be the movie for you. If you are looking for something that keeps you engaged through the whole movie, this might not be the movie for you. However, if you are looking for something different than what you normally see in the theater, you should at least give it a chance.
With that said, give it a chance on DVD. With movie prices what they are these days, you can definitely spend the $10 on something better. This is a good one to see sitting in your living room eating your own, cheaper, popcorn and Pepsi though.