The Skeleton Key

For reasons unbeknownst to me I headed out of my apartment last night to catch a 1:05AM showing of this flick. I picked up twizz, water, and a plastic thing of watermelon cubes from the bodega for snacky snacks . I also bought popcorn at the theater for the absolute last time ever I think. It's been a while since I bought popcorn in the theater and I think the price most have gone up recently because a friggin medium popcorn was SIX mofin dollars! 6! Screw that! SIX? When she said, 'That'll be six dollars, please.' I sort of threwup in my mouth a little. It makes me proud to sneak food in! Six bucks for something that's one step above friggin flavored styrofoam? Screw that! Forever! Uch! Sneak food everyone! Punish them!

Anyway, I walk into the theater (behind a dad who's ushering in his two kids to see this movie. Like 8 and 10 year old kids! This is a 1AM showing! Of a horror movie! Dude! What the F you doing?!!?!!) And I was surprised to see the theater actually 3/4 filled. At 1AM! I find a seat up close and gently lowered my expectations that this movie will be anything but barely watchable. First off I'm not a fan of Kate Dudson. I don't think she's a real star. I mean are there any real Kate Dudson fans out there? Maybe like 6 or 7 total, right? Ok maybe 10. Max. If there was a theater in hell it might show the last three Kate Dudson movies on a loop. After the string of flops she's had I can't imagine why Kate ain't sitting in movie jail right now signing a deal to star in 'Living with Me and Me' a sitcom for ABC about a schizophrenic girl who lives alone but thinks she has an annoying roommate -which will go on hiatus 15 minutes into the pilot. 

Anyway again, the Skeleton Key. Almost a good movie. Almost a loud bellyflop. But it lands somewhere inbetween-- inbetween forgettable and almost actually interesting. To make a long story short, Kate Dudson is this hot chick (too hot. too cute.) who goes to help some old dude croak hospice-y way out in the swamps outside New Orleans. He's like all stroked out frozen and lives with his wife who's all nice/evil or something. It's not a good scene. Anyway, mix up alot of voodoo (or in this case 'Hoodoo') mumbojumbo, combined with a sack of 'turn-around-and-some-one-is-right-there!-omg! shockseconds, and sloppily dump a slopbucket of southern backwoods creepy history all over the place and you have this movie. But to be honest it's not a bad movie to look at.

It was sort of entertaining (maybe even sorta fun) to sit through. Kate Dudson is definitely not a star but she has a nice ass so it makes up for some things. Gena Gloria Rowlands is really good. Kinda deserves an Oscar nomination I think because she carries this movie on her back (and deserves at least a special recognition award for having to put up with Kate Dudson). And John Hurt does a nice job playing a more lively Bernie from Weekend at Bernies. So the movie plays out blah blah blah with a little mystery here. A little history there. A little shitstory there. And it all ties up sort of nicely. The real problem is that it's lazy for the first hour solid. Throwing out clues that have no meat on their bones and side characters who are either irrelevant or obvious. It's yet another case of horror where under the movieglop slather there actually is a solid creepout flick lurking under the surface. Unfortunately the triple non-threat combo Kate Dudson, sell-out scares, and 'just-get-out-of-the-house-or-at-least-handle-things-more-realistically-please-you-duncecap-wearer!' keep it far out of reach... and it definitely ain't worth stretching for it.

Three Good Things About this Movie

- Gena Rowlands definitely was fun to look at and watch and crawl and yell.
- I was never really bored although I walked up to the edge of boredom and peered over the edge a bunch of times.
- Kate Dudson wore nice underwear.

Three Bad Things About this Movie

- It couldn't get away from bad dialogue like, 'You can't get away!' or 'You'll never get away!' or 'I won't let you get away!'
- Although I wasn't hating the movie ever there was a voice in my head that kept asking me why I was sitting there watching it.
- It was choppy and director never seemed to figure out what style he really wanted this to be. (Are we NIN or Midnight in the Garden?)

All in all this is a good video rental but not worth seeing in the theater unless you have a real thing for swampy southerness. It's like if you took all the pieces of this movie and set them aside it would look actually pretty good on their own- but once they're all put together with Kate Dudson is standing on top of it showing off her Betty Boop School of "Serious" Acting chops it just never flies. And on the 3AM walk home,  behind me I heard the gurgle of the whole movie sinking into my memory swamp-- with a cliche creepy hand being the last thing to slowly go under...