Saturday, October 28, 2006

"THE SKELETON KEY"
Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard

"It can open any door"

HBO

Conjure of Sacrifice

There are two main reasons why I rather wait for movies to be shown on cable TV: (a) They are horror flicks. I scare easily so I rather watch them in the comfort of my living room where I can switch channels if I get too frightened! (b) The plot doesn't particularly grab my attention so I won't waste my precious money on them. This simply implies I may be a cinephile but I am also cheap so I won't go watch a film just for the heck of it.

"The Skeleton Key" was on my list of horror flicks. The others being "The Jacket", "Saw 2" and "Hide and Seek". Fortunately for me, HBO showed it earlier tonight. It has a good cast with believable performances from Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt and Peter Sarsgaard. It is set in the outskirts of New Orleans and it deals with some voodoo, hoodoo stuff. Don't ask me the difference I wouldn't know. Characters with names like Papa Justify, Mama Cecile and Violet Devereaux, very Creole tinged with good old Southern charm.


The premise is simple enough - a young woman (Kate Hudson who I think might have been pregnant while filming the movie. I noticed she had more flesh to her skinny frame and a little bump in her belly) is hired to take care of an old man supposedly paralyzed by a stroke. She moves in with the couple and is given a skeleton key which apparently opens every single door in the creaky house except of course the ubiquitous attic. Of course, she starts snooping around the attic trying to find the dirty little secrets it hides, poking her nose into things which aren't any of her business. Soon enough she gets embroiled in the whole darkness which envelops the house and its inhabitants. Dramatically the film ends with a clever yet morbid little twist which in my utter state of confusion I wasn't able to decipher right away. Confusion brought about by the fact that I wasn't paying close attention to the film 'cause I was busy eating my dinner in front of the telly.

The film has its standard creepy moments like doors rattling in the attic, voodoo mambo jumbo-ness but mostly it doesn't really make you scream out with fright. The whole cinematography is dark and gloomy which is understandable for the movie to have its horror flick effect. Climate is rather morose both weather wise and the mood of the characters. It is well acted though which may be the only salvation in this rather forgettable film. Nothing spectacular though just one of those movies which make you shrug your broad little shoulders with a nonchalance attitude and just chalk it to something to watch on a boring Saturday night - a 'microwave dinner' film.

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