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The Skeleton Key back to product details

A Super Supernatural
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written by talltale November 14, 2005 - 8:54 AM PST
4 out of 5 members found this review helpful
Much better than any other movie in the mystery/other-worldly genre of the past few years, THE SKELETON KEY may not seem particularly terrific as it quietly moves along. Not bad, mind you, but not fabulous. Yet, due to good performances, decent dialog and atmosphere, you'll probably stick with it. Then in the rush of its climax and denouement, I think you will be astounded: first at the surprise, and then at how all the pieces fit together. I don't recall another film that kept me going back--then back even further--rethinking/refiguring what I'd just witnessed.

Instead of explaining everything in their finale, the moviemakers simply give the audience enough information to figure it all out for themselves--which is a lot more pleasurable and, as--post-movie--you begin to pile revelation upon revelation, infinitely darker and more terrifying. I've heard comparisons made between "The Skeleton Key" and "The Others," which also offers a major surprise at its conclusion. But that surprise is one-note, alongside what happens here. I've not been a big fan of director Iain Softley till now, but "The Skeleton Key" has opened the door. Even more worthy is the seemingly-simple-but-intricate-underneath screenplay by Ehren Kruger.

In this sort of project, filled to the brink with hokum/hooey, "belief" is paramount, and the filmmakers have cleverly constructed a scenario that makes excellent use of belief: its importance to the characters on-screen, as well as to the audience, and how that belief can slowly grow, despite our best rational instincts. Perhaps because there are so few huge scares, bloodshed or violence, mass audiences stayed away. For those who prefer their supernatural with true surprise, mystery, and punch-in-the-gut resolution, here it is.

12345678910

(Average 5.83)
41 Votes
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