So, after a long absence, I now begin a new feature, reviewing films which are reasonably new, but not not in cinemas or just out on DVD. Today's review is of 2005 hoodoo-horror-thriller movie The Skeleton Key.
The Skeleton Key begins, quite aptly, with a man apparently being bored to death. This is a most likely unintenional but retrospectively clever touch by the director/writing team, as the first hour or so of the film is incredibly dull. In fact, if it weren't for that chilling, disturbing ending, the film would most likely have been long forgotten to the realm of lost, crap horror films by now - and I only finished watching it ten minutes ago. The conventions are all here - creepy house, flickering lights, scary door, mysterious objects - making what could be a very different, stand-out movie sink into depths of mundanity and banality. It's a miracle my eyes stayed open long enough to get to the surprisingly satisfying climax. I simply let the hoodoo/black magic/haunted house plot wash over me, occasionally absorbing details I thought might be important.
In terms of scares, its all random jolts, creaky doors, and red herrings. How terrifying. It doesn't really warrant many brain-cells or a large attention span, so those willing to stick with the movie are those most likely to be impressed by a slightly more intelligent and satisfying climax than usual.
But as I said earlier, the reveal is much more satisfying than usual, and is genuinely spine tingling. It leaves the audience feeling uneasy, which is why I'm currently watching Eurotrip before going to bed. The thought of what actually happens to the characters is quite sickening, and the overcoming of expectations leave you feeling shocked. Don't let anyone ruin it for you. It's one of those films where it exists purely for that horrifying twist [like Saw]. Without it, it's a 1.5/5.
With it, it's a comfortable 3/5.
Genre Value: 3.5/5
Entertainment Value: 2/5
Overall Rating: 3/5