There are some films that are a pleasant surprise, and The Skeleton Key is one of them. I have to admit that I viewed this film with some skepticism, simply because I hadn't heard much buzz about it and I had difficulty envisioning Kate Hudson in such a film. In fact, not only was it nice to see Kate Hudson in a non-comedic role for a change, but she actually is very good in this supernatural thriller.
Director Iain Softley does a fine job of taking an interesting ghost story and merging it with the Southern Gothic of the Louisiana bayou and the legends and myths surrounding New Orleans Voodooism. Like any ghost story in a movie, the viewer has to accept certain nonsense premises to make it work, but if the viewer does so this film delivers great entertainment. The Skeleton Key makes it easy to accept these premises, making it an exceptional supernatural thriller.
Gena Rowlands almost steals this movie with her performance. She plays an old hag from hell that just reeks of evil. The film has a very well constructed story that also does a good job at developing a character profile of the Kate Hudson character that fits well into the story.
If you are looking for a great ghost movie or supernatural thriller to view, this film delivers in spades.