[[quoteright:270:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The-Skeleton-Key_2817.jpg]]

2005 horror movie, starring Creator/KateHudson as a hospice worker who takes a job caring for an invalid at an old house in [[TheBigEasy New Orleans]]. Things rapidly go downhill as the old man's wife behaves strangely, a locked room in the attic contains [[HollywoodVoodoo evidence of hoodoo rituals]], and she finds the poor guy desperately wants to escape...

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AluminumChristmasTrees: Hoodoo is a real folk practice, albeit not as sinister as the film tries to make it (and contrary to what Jill implies in her InfoDump, most of it's adherents are Protestant Christians - in other words, God has ''everything'' to do with it).
* AndIMustScream: A nasty potion is used repeatedly, that leaves victims with all the effects of a stroke.
* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:Cecile ends up possessing Caroline, leaving her stuck in Violet's crippled, mute body right alongside Ben (actually Luke, with the same thing done to him previously by Justify).]]
* TheBigEasy
* BigFancyHouse
* BlackBestFriend: Caroline's, who knows about Voodoo but doesn't practice it. [[spoiler: ''Possibly'' may have noticed "Caroline" speaking like an old lady at the end.]]
* BlackMagic
* BodySurf: [[spoiler: Cecile and Justify's method of immortality.]]
* BrotherSisterIncest (maybe): [[spoiler: Cecile and Justify are a married couple who possessed the bodies of a brother and sister. When said siblings were children.]]
* ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve
* CreepyHousekeeper: Violet.
* DownerEnding: Read above for TheBadGuyWins.
* EquivalentExchange: [[spoiler:Sometime sacrifice is more like... an exchange.]]
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: A lifetime of [[spoiler:body surfing]] hasn't put a damper on [[spoiler:Cecile and Justify's marriage.]]
* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler:Being stuck in a body old and decrepit, unable to talk, helped by two "caring" people who at least will put you out of your misery soon.]]
** [[spoiler: Don't forget the servants switching bodies with you, then having your parents unwittingly ''lynch you and burn you alive -- as young children''.]]
* FlyawayShot: How the movie ends.
* GrandTheftMe: The main goal of [[spoiler:Cecile and Justify]].
* HughMann: Happens at the end. [[spoiler:Also the lawyer, now taken over, has to learn "lawayerism ForDummies"]] to pass over ''even for his job''. That [[spoiler:hoodoo bodysnatching]] has some drawbacks... but like they said, beggars can't be choosers.
* HumanSacrifice: [[spoiler:Implied, as a ruse. It's ''[[MetaphoricallyTrue not exactly that]]'', but ''worse''.]]
* HollywoodVoodoo: Somewhat averted, as the movie makes the distinction that the goings on are the result of Hoodoo, not Voodoo. Still lots of BlackMagic and such to go around, though.
* HouseOfBrokenMirrors
* InfantImmortality: [[spoiler:Averted. Cecile and Justify take over the bodies of little Martin and Grace, implicitly killing them in the process.]]
* {{Mammy}}: Mama Cecile for Martin and Grace.
* {{Manipulative Bastard}}
* OffingTheOffspring: [[spoiler: Grace and Martin were unwittingly killed by their parents]].
* PersonalEffectsReveal: The eponymous key is found in one of the main character dead patient's personal belongings.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Well, an attic full of Hoodoo anyway.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: The heroes accomplish absolutely nothing, and in the end, they suffer the same fate as all the other victims.
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