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Quite thrilling

The Skeleton Key

Cast: Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard
Director: Iain Softley
Genre: Thriller
Storyline: A young nurse is drawn into a spell of voodoo, while trying to help her patient.
Bottomline: Thank God, spooks are back, finally!

It's been a really long while since Hollywood churned out a tight intriguing spook fest that actually makes you enjoy the thrills.

That's because `The Skeleton Key' is not just a show-and-scare horror. This one keeps you guessing, messes with your head. And is reasonably intelligent. Full credit to Ehren Kruger's screenplay which roots itself in the American milieu.

Caroline (Kate Hudson) a young nurse who's just lost her father has taken up a job in New Orleans to attend to a paralysed Ben (John Hurt). His wife Violet (Gena Rowlands) seems to believe that the ghosts living in the house had attacked him. Investigation leads Caroline to voodoo practices still prevalent in those parts of America.

Director Iain Softley plays his cards very cleverly. The narrative always beats you by a whisker, telling you what you need to know just before you can guess where it's heading. It doesn't always scare but it thrills. The suspense leaves you spell-bound. It's gorgeously shot, with haunting frames that bring out alive the eerie world of voodoo and black magic. Skeleton Key' is as riveting as it gets this season. Kate Hudson carries the film like a seasoned veteran. She's gorgeous, her presence is so electric that it can light up the most haunted of mansions.

Gena Rowlands is brilliantly mysterious, never letting you sneak a peek into her mind and John Hurt takes up the challenge of letting his eyes do all the acting.

SUDHISH KAMATH

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