Friday, August 12, 2005

The Skeleton Key: Why the Twilight Zone should not Inspire Films.

The Skeleton Key one really important came out this weekend. I know it's completely unlike me to review something even remotely recent, but hey, who knows? I might get to like reviewing stuff normal people might have the chance to see. So let's do this.
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The Skeleton Key released 2005 starring Kate Hudson and, um....John Hurt? Before we get into the plot let's point out how funny it is that John Hurt's been cast in this film. In case you don't know, John Hurt's played big roles in everything from Alien, The Elephant Man, History of the World Part 1, Spaceballs, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone, Hellboy, Dead Man, and a bunch of other stuff. So what does he do in the film? He drools a lot. And screams once. What's terrifying is that because he's who he is, he could demand some sort of insane salary to sit. there. and. drool. :sigh: He's also the only character who appears on the poster, even if it is as a giant eyeball.
The Plot: I loved the Twilight Zone. Short shows that invariably end with a zinger of a surprise ending (or not so much zing in some cases). But, the Twilight Zone's inspired a hell of a lot of films with surprise endings. This isn't always a good thing. Turning one surprise into a 104 minute movie never works. Maybe I'm too critical, but right now I could type one short sentence that would ruin the movie completely for you. I hate that. Films that only hold someone's interest based solely on the "What the HELL is going on?"/surprise ending thing just leave me feeling empty when it's over. Basically The Skeleton Key is a supernatural mystery movie that once you see it you'll never ever need to see it again.
You have no idea how hard it is for me to NOT type that sentence right now.
OH LORD HERE IT IS: The old lady and her lawyer are evil voodoo witches that possess people's bodies to stay young and they need a new body for the old lady.
I swear it sounds more interesting than it really is. Also, the thing isn't that original. If you flip through a copy of the "Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film" you can find a half dozen plots so very similar to this....mostly for made for TV movies. In fact, this whole thing feels like an NBC movie of the week.
Movies with surprise endings and not much else piss me off because they're not meant to be great films...they're just meant to collect your money once. Lame.
I don't do a rating system for the movies I watch but I will say this: Rent it if you HAVE to see it. And no one HAS to see this thing....I promise.


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