The Skeleton Key

Synopsis: A young hospice worker helping care for an invalid who lives in a remote mansion in the Louisiana bayous finds herself caught in the middle of morbid happenings centered around a group of Hoodoo practitioners.
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Director(s): Iain Softley
Production: Universal Pictures
  5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min

"I lost no time, of course, in

telling my mother all that I knew...

"and we saw ourselves at once in

a difficult and dangerous position.

"Something must speedily be resolved

upon, and it occurred to us...

"at last to go forth together...

"and seek help

in the neighboring hamlet.

"No sooner said than done.

Bare-headed as we were...

"we ran out at once in the gathering

evening and the frosty fog.

"The hamlet lay not many

hundred yards away...

"though out of view, on the other

side of the next cove...

"and what greatly encouraged me...

"it was in an opposite direction...

"from that whence the blind man

had made his appearance.

"And I shall never forget

how much I was cheered...

"to see the yellow shine in doors

and windows...

"But that, as it proved...

"was the best of the help we were

likely to get in that quarter.

"For you would have thought...

"men would have been

ashamed of themselves...

"no soul would consent

to return with us to the... "

Audrey? Sorry.

Mr. T alcott's gone.


Front desk, in case anyone shows.

I think you'll be waiting

a while, hon.

No. didn't we call? He said he had family.


But they don't wanna have anything

to do with him.

You can dump it out back.

Okay, take a look.

I interview tomorrow.

What about your job?

I had enough of that place.

What happened?

Here's your beer.

- Thanks.

- Sure.

I lost a patient today. Mr. Talcott.

- I'm sorry.

- You should have seen it.

The second he died, it was like...

they couldn't wait to get him out of there.

It's just a business to them.

It is a business, But at least he had you.

No. It's supposed to be

a business about caring.

They couldn't care less.

Wait. This is Terrebonne Parish.

It's the freaking swamps.

I get the hours I need to start

nursing school, and I get paid.

And I get to help somebody, my way.

They got gators in the swamps,

and guys missing teeth.

Are we dancing here, or what?

Cary, look.

This work you're doing,

are you sure it's not changing you?

I'm 25 years old.

What's wrong with a little change?

[Upbeat Jazz music]

[Slower jazz music]

Oh, my God.

[Rocking chair creaking]



[Caroline knocking on door]

[Opera music on record player]

[Flies buzzing]

Now that right there

is what love is all about.

Old-fashioned devotion,

like what you read about.

You must be Caroline.

I'm sorry, the door was open,

so I just walked in.

Oh, no. It's a big house. I didn't hear you.

It's okay.

So much for getting their affairs in order.

I'm sorry. I'm Luke Marshall. Estate lawyer.

We talked on the phone.

Oh, right.

The docs figure a month maybe.

He's pretty far gone.

I understand.

His wife's having kind of

a rough time with it.

Most people do.

Violet, you have a visitor.

May I present Miss Caroline Ellis?

She works down at the hospice

in New Orleans.

Caroline, this is Violet devereaux.

You have a lovely home.

I'm sorry. It's just hard.

The idea of a stranger living here-

I understand, really.

She's Old South, you know.

She thinks women still curtsey.

So, he can't talk at all?

No. Stroke pretty much paralyzed him.

- Which side was affected?

- Both.

It happened about a month ago,

up in the attic.

That's where she found him.


You have a visitor. Meet Miss Caroline Ellis.

Hello, Ben. I'm Caroline.

She's not from around here.

She not gonna understand my house.

She's from New Orleans.

She wasn't raised in New Orleans.

You hear how she talks?

Who knows where she comes from?

Hoboken, New Jersey.

What do you want a Southern accent?

The last one left, Violet.

All right.

But she's not gonna understand the house.

The last girl left, huh?

Wait. Let me talk to her,

we can straighten things out.

I can't help anybody

who doesn't want my help.

She does want help. She's just scared.

Of what? Politeness?

No. He's the love of her life and he's dying.

They've been together forever.

She's losing her soul mate here.

I don't know about you, But that'd

put some sandpaper up my ass.

Aren't you a romantic?


The last girl quit.

You're the fifth interview since.

She shoots down everyone.

[door squeaking]

It's not personal.

But you being here means he's really dying.

He's dying whether I'm here or not.

What'd she mean about the house?


She said I wouldn't understand

the house. Why'd she said that?

All I know is her checks clear.

Look, forget it.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm

still looking for my dream job, too.

All right.

So if you talked to her, what would you say?

I'd say she could look all she wants...

But I doubt she'd find any better than you.

So she'd do well to treat you like it.

Okay, here are my rules. No knitting.

No joining a bridge club.

And no playing bingo.

Okay, good. Good rules.

I'm serious, they'll try and suck

you into their elderly ways.

It's less than an hour away.

I'll be back all the time.

Yeah, well, you better.

Whenever you want to talk to someone

who wasn't around for World War ll.

Jeez, what is it with you and old people?

Come here.

He'd be proud of you. You know he would.


I need to pay for some gas.

[Fly buzzing]


[baby crying]

[Gospel preacher playing on record player]

[Record stops playing]

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Ehren Kruger

Ehren Kruger is an American screenwriter and film producer. He is best known for writing three of the four films in the Transformers film series which are Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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