Fridge / The Skeleton Key

Fridge Brilliance
  • Violet tells Caroline not to bother with the housework, as only she knows how to do it properly. Among housekeepers of the old south especially those familiar with hoodoo there are practices, such as using herbal washes on the floors and windows, laying lines of brick dust in doorways, and marking the corners of rooms with ammonia (or urine) to protect from evil.
  • Herding Caroline to make the circle and "dig herself in". There's no apparent reason, since they have issues with the whole believing thing, not getting people in circles, and apparently the spell doesn't require the victim to trick himself/herself. Then it hits: making up a "protective circle" is the ultimate test of faith, where the victims both consciously and unconsciously accept to believe, and show others that they do. And if you say outloud you believe in protection, you must believe in its opposite too...
    • It's the ultimate test of faith because instead of using some tools to make a hole and some rope to run away (A mundane solution) she tried to protect herself with magic. She put her faith in some magical protection, instead of herself, "contaminating" her spirit with superstition and belief.
      • Ummmm where would Caroline have gotten the tools OR the time to make a hole somewhere with (or gotten hold of a strong enough rope lying around the house for that matter)? No amount of “self-belief” is going to procure those things for her. It also won’t change the fact that the very real, very powerful hoodoo that Cecile/Violet used to lock the gate on her before she even fully COMMITTED to believing is still intact, and that the kayak she used to row away the first time is now gone. And even if none of those elements were an issue, her ‘self-belief’ still wouldn’t have protected her from two very powerful practitioners of magic chasing her around their property all night. No, Caroline’s downfall wasn’t her lack of ‘self-belief’, or even the fact that she came to accept the power of hoodoo to begin with. The movie actually goes out of its way to showcase other people in the town who believed and even practiced to a certain extent, but had enough respect and experience with the thing not to play around with it recklessly. THAT’S what Caroline’s fatal flaw was—not taking the warnings other people gave her (including the previous nurse, who ALSO believed but had enough savvy to get the fuck outta that house before it could be used against her), not realizing she was waaaaaaaay out of her depth trying to cast a first-time spell against two centennial practitioners, and ultimately letting her guilt over her father cloud her judgment when it came to saving “Ben”. But there’s no reason she had to blind herself to the greater reality going on around her in order to stay safe. If she hadn’t used the witchdoctor’s magic earlier in the movie, after all, she would never have figured out Violet was behind everything to begin with. She should have just left the house THEN and called the Louisiana Health Department to let them know the old man was being threatened by his wife. That in and of itself would have probably led to some sort of inquiry. Caroline was just foolish in her belief, but as the film itself demonstrates, belief itself doesn’t have to be a bad thing or ‘contaminate’ you as long as you’re not an arrogant ass about it.
  • Caroline's initial meeting with Violet; she's not really checking if she's suitable for the job, she's checking out the merchandise...
    • "You're skinnier than I would have hoped. Prettier though..."
    • Also the questions about whether she's religious and whether she has strong family ties...
    • Asking if she has tattoos initially seems like she's being a judgemental old woman, until you know she wants the body for herself.
  • Violet's detailed account of the night the servants were lynched. She should know it because she was there.

Fridge Horror
  • The plight of Ben/Luke is a lot more grim when you realize the twist ending. A poor, unsuspecting guy, young and with his whole life ahead of him, happens to land two seemingly sweet old folks as his clients. And then, they trick him into believing in hoodoo, perform a terrifying ritual on him, and trap him in the paralyzed body of an old man until he dies. And he appears to just be aware enough to recognize what Caroline's in for, and to beg her to rescue him.
  • Heck, the entire movie is Fridge Horror, if you think about it. Pretty much every single thing Luke and Violet say to Caroline serves as some sort of foreshadowing to their plans for her.
  • What the villains did to the children went beyond simple murder: their spirits weren't just displaced when the ritual was performed; they were forced into Justify and Cecile's bodies. The children, probably barely concious, were lynched and burned by their own parents. And no one was ever any the wiser. They at least had the small mercy of being rendered essentially brain-dead. Not like what happened to Cecile and Justify's later victims.
    • But the parents died in a murder-suicide. Could it be the dad figured it out and spared his wife the realization, since there was no way to fix it?
    • Alternate Character Interpretation: Was it really a murder-suicide? Or were they both murdered?