THE SKELETON KEY Add To My Top 10

Full of Spells and Evil Spirits

Content -4
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: August 12, 2005

Starring: Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, and Peter Sarsgaard

Genre: Suspense

Audience: Teenagers and adults

Rating: PG-13 for violence, disturbing
images, some partial nudity
and thematic material

Runtime: 97 minutes

Address Comments To:

Bob Wright, Chairman/CEO
NBC Universal
Ron Meyer, President/COO
Stacey Snider, Chairman
Universal Pictures
Universal Studios
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com

Content:

(OOO, Ab, LL, V, A, D, M) Very strong occult worldview with spells and spirit possession and an anti-Christian comment; eight obscenities and six profanities; people lynched and burned (mostly off-screen), gunshots, man falls off roof, and woman falls down stairs; no nudity, but woman in underwear; alcohol; smoking; and woman sedated, kidnapping, lying, and obsession with witchcraft.

Summary:

THE SKELETON KEY is an abhorrent, slow-moving suspense thriller about evil spirits wherein a hospice worker moves in with a stroke victim and his wife, but finds that their house is haunted by malicious spirits who want to claim new bodies. The plot with spirits and spells is abhorrent to Christian audiences, and evil wins in the end.

Review:

THE SKELETON KEY is a slow-moving suspense thriller about evil spirits that bores the audience into a stupor before the ending’s big twist.

Kate Hudson stars as Caroline, a well-intentioned hospice worker who seeks to comfort the elderly as compensation for her absence from her father’s deathbed. She moves in with Violet and Ben Devereaux, looking after him after his stroke. The Devereaux home is an hour outside New Orleans, in the swampland, which is steeped in spooky voodoo lore.

Caroline is given a skeleton key that supposedly opens every room in the large house, but there is a tiny door in the attic that will not unlock. When asked about the mysterious attic room, Mrs. Devereaux avoids the subject. Caroline finally forces her way in and finds odd, disturbing artifacts, including brains kept in jars and eerie spells written on yellowed paper. As she investigates the strange findings, she begins to suspect that Mr. Devereaux has not really had a stroke at all, but that Mrs. Devereaux is harming him.

While piecing together clues from the attic, Caroline must find out what’s happening to Mr. Devereaux, how she can help him, and whether or not this black magic – called “hoodoo,” distinct from voodoo – is real. The closer she gets to the mystery, however, the more of an enemy Violet Devereaux becomes. Caroline begins to suspect that she, like Mr. Devereaux, is in danger.

THE SKELETON KEY turns on a plot of spirits and spells, which automatically makes it abhorrent to Christian audiences. As some characters gain acquaintance with these spells, they begin to act more selfishly and evil, which is one reason why the Bible tells us to stay away from magic and sorcery. In the end, the spells are successful, and the sorcerers win, which is a victory for evil. Nothing provides a philosophical or redemptive counter to the magic; one of the tainted characters even equates Christianity with superstition.

In addition to the witchcraft, there are also some moderate obscenities and profanities, plus the heroine strips down to her underwear just before a spooky scene, which is totally gratuitous.

Aside from concerns about the content, THE SKELETON KEY takes a long time to warm up. For the first half-hour, it appears to be a very boring drama about a hospice worker. Only after a third of the movie does the true plot emerge. Little of the action is suspenseful, so the story plays out more like a mystery.

The Bible warns people not to become entangled with magic, so this movie can only be harmful.

In Brief:

THE SKELETON KEY is an abhorrent, slow-moving suspense thriller about evil spirits. Kate Hudson stars as Caroline, a hospice worker who moves in with a stroke victim and his wife. Their home is in the swampland outside New Orleans, which is steeped in spooky voodoo lore. Caroline finds a mysterious attic room with disturbing spells written on yellowed paper. As she investigates, she suspects that the husband has not had a stroke but that his wife is harming him. Caroline must find out how she can help him and whether this black magic is real.

THE SKELETON KEY turns on a plot of spirits and spells, which automatically makes it abhorrent to Christian audiences. As some characters gain acquaintance with these spells, they begin to act more selfishly and evil, which is why the Bible tells us to stay away from witchcraft and sorcery. In the end, the spells are successful, and the sorcerers win, which is a victory for evil. One character even equates Christianity with superstition! THE SKELETON KEY also contains some foul language, plus the heroine strips down to her underwear just before a spooky scene, which is totally gratuitous.