Skeleton Key, the - The thing about Kate Hudson

Duration: 104min
Category: horror
Available: On DVD
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I used to have a “thing” for Kate Hudson. I think a part of it was me transferring to her part of my adolescent “thing” for her mother. However after her great turn in Almost Famous, she has made one bad movie choice after another. I had almost forgotten my “thing.”

Unfortunately, The Skeleton Key isn’t going to rekindle any of those old “things.”

The Skeleton Key is a run of the mill, boring, predictable thriller. I saw the ending coming about 20 minutes into the film. You will probably get the ending from any detailed synopsis so let’s suffice it to say this is the story of a young woman who goes to care for an infirmed young man and clashes with his wife. Evil things start to be apparent. I won’t go into it any further as I don’t want to ruin what good there is about this film by giving away the rather obvious but still satisfying ending.

Like The Others, the story is actually quite a good little ghost story. Sadly, also like that film, the story doesn’t really have the meat to fill the minutes for a full length feature. This means the director has to throw in a lot of fake outs to tide us over until the pay off at the end. It’s a good little pay off but the stuff in the middle is really drab and second rate.

For example there is a lot of wind banging noises, people (who are no threat whatsoever) appearing suddenly from around corners, and allusions to benign yet traditionally recognised scary things. Like in The Ring, images are expected to be scary simply because they have been collectively agreed upon as being scary. In these movies, people are creepy because they wear old fashioned clothes and burn a lot of candles.

The other fault of the film is the stereotypes. The film is dripping in them. It’s a good thing there isn’t a Deep South Defamation League to be taking on the producers of this movie.

Okay, so there aren’t any real thrills in Skeleton Key. The only thing chilling about the film is the nice, tight little ending which is basically at the level of a fireside ghost story. The whole thing would have made a nice short but this film goes on too long and I lost interest early on.

Too bad too, I guess I have to admit my “thing” for Kate Hudson is no longer much of a “thing.” Just like this film isn’t much of one either.

Review By: Collin Smith

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