The Skeleton Key

Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 32
  2. Negative: 5 out of 32

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Critic Reviews

  1. For anyone zombified by creaky thriller clichés, Skeleton is a fine little shot in the head.
  2. An elegantly mounted ghost story that's steeped plenty of dank Louisiana atmosphere.
  3. Tightly plotted and suspenseful enough to keep you guessing until the satisfying, unexpected end, which is worth suspending disbelief for. After all, as they point out in the movie, "It doesn't work if you don't believe it."
  4. 70
    The appeal of The Skeleton Key lies not in its plot but in its attention to detail, and the way director Iain Softley (still on probation for "K-PAX," but nevertheless the guy who did "Backbeat") luxuriates in the deeply textured sights and sounds of Louisiana.
  5. It's far from strikingly original, but it's well-acted, skillfully plotted and moderately chilling, and it's something slightly different in the haunted-house genre.
  6. 63
    Delivers its share of cheap scares but never unlocks the door to the creepiness that would have made this is memorable movie-going experience.
  7. 63
    One of those movies that explains too much while it is explaining too little, and leaves us with a surprise at the end that makes more sense the less we think about it. But the movie's mastery of technique makes up for a lot.
  8. For all its dark, Gothic intentions and supernatural twists, it lacks the emotional and intellectual punch of similarly themed films, most notably Alejandro Amenábar's "The Others."
  9. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    Director Iain Softley employs intriguing camera angles to heighten some of the suspense. It's too bad the movie goes over the top and falls apart in the last third.
  10. I didn't believe most of what I saw until the last 20 minutes, and whaddaya know? This thriller finally cast the spell it had been trying to achieve and lifted itself above the pack of late-summer, clean-out-the-studio-attic releases.
  11. Stylishly spooky and featuring a hammy, cigarette-sucking performance from Gena Rowlands.
  12. The soundtrack is guaranteed to send chills where they'll be most effective, and the ultimate resolution is a real shocker. While it doesn't explain away everything that's happened, it comes deliciously close.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 326 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 42
  2. Negative: 9 out of 42
  1. DezM.
    Apr 8, 2006
    8
    Suspenseful movie and pretty good acting, but if you've seen Burnt Offerings (from 1976) and Die Die My Darling! (from the 1960s), Suspenseful movie and pretty good acting, but if you've seen Burnt Offerings (from 1976) and Die Die My Darling! (from the 1960s), you've already seen it. It is not an original movie -- it is a remake. Full Review »
  2. jonr
    Dec 28, 2005
    5
    I really liked it at first but it's one of those movies that tries to be original and shock you with a plot twist. Unfortunatly it just I really liked it at first but it's one of those movies that tries to be original and shock you with a plot twist. Unfortunatly it just gave too many clues and it's very easy to figue out what's going on and it's annoying to watch the clueless protagonist. At least it gets props for a unstereotypical ending. Full Review »
  3. MarcoM.
    Dec 10, 2005
    8
    Not the scariest film out there but the intriguing storyline makes up for it. I absolutely detested/adored the ending. It