Skeleton Key

Not Recommended. The story of a Northerner do-gooder nurse (Kate Hudson) who is hired to do some at-home hospice in New Orleans for an elderly stroke victim (John Hurt). When she discovers there are some dark dealings surrounding the “magic” oriented Hoodoo (As opposed to Voodoo) and a dark spiritual past for the house itself, she runs into water way over her head. This is a very well done supernatural type thriller. Very good suspense and surprises. Excellent acting by John Hurt as the elderly man stricken by magic, not a stroke, and by Gena Rowlands as the creepy old wife. And as supernatural thrillers go, it’s all there. My problem with it is that it is a negative ending that has evil win through revenge, which spoils the heart and soul of it. Let me explain, and thereby ruin the movie for you. It turns out that two Hoodoo black servants in the deep past of the house, were lynched for their magical Hoodoo ways by the white people who owned the house. But somehow, they managed to work their Hoodoo (I just can’t keep from smiling at how goofy the word sounds), and engage in a ritual where they can conjure up the ability to have their spirits move into another’s body and take over, so they can have another life. Well, after all the surprise twists, it turns out that this Hoodoo couple is continuing to snatch people’s bodies, and the latest is our young Kate. There is just nothing very redeeming about the story and evil wins in a way that does not seem instructive or tragic. Just because a movie is done well doesn’t make it worthy of viewing if it’s content is without redemption or truth.