YMMV / The Skeleton Key

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • It's said that the children's father committed suicide. Was it due to the Great Depression? Or did he somehow find out that the servants had taken his children's bodies and he had lynched his own children to death?
    • Suggesting that Jill go with Violet in the ambulance at the end: The couple wanting to be alone and enjoy their new bodies? Or part of a plan to get Jill to believe so Cecile can finally have a black girl?
    • How did Cecile and Justify feel about the children being lynched in their bodies? Their faces when it happens seem pretty horrified. So is it a case of Even Evil Has Standards? Or did they just view the children's deaths as a mere unfortunate side effect? Notably they never take the bodies of children again. You may draw your own conclusions.
  • Awesome Music: The film is set in Louisiana and makes great use of a jazz soundtrack.
  • Crowning Moment of Funny: "Well child, I believe you broke both my legs."
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: The movie itself is one in the career of Kate Hudson. After the Hollywood Hype Machine failed to make a star out of her, only Almost Famous is a film of hers that is fondly remembered. However this one has a growing number of fans, most of them praising her performance.
  • Fanon: Despite the movie leaving it open, it's almost universally agreed that Cecile is planning to at least try to steal Jill's body next, so she can finally have a black girl.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Conjure of Sacrifice. As soon as you hear Papa Justify's voice...shudder...
  • Magnificent Bastard: Mama Cecile and Papa Justify. They've managed to extend their lives by ninety years - all by swapping bodies with unsuspecting younger people. Especially when it comes to Caroline. She was a complete sceptic and they reeled her in.
  • Narm Charm: 'Caroline' talking like an old lady, using expressions like "fiddlesticks" at the end.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The blind woman in the gas station.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Those two servants could steal any body they wished, as long as they were able to manipulate someone into believing.
  • Rewatch Bonus: A lot of Violet's dialogue takes on a new meaning once you know the ending.
    • "You're skinnier than I would have hoped. Prettier though", as well as the talk about tattoos and piercings. She's checking out the merchandise.
    • "Don't bother with the housework. I'm the only one that knows how." Violet's been taking care of the house for over ninety years.
    • Her rather detailed account of the night the servants were lynched, as well as her knowledge of Papa Justify. A) She was there and B) of course she knows her own husband.
  • She Really Can Act: A lot of people expressed surprise at Kate Hudson's performance here. Pleasant surprise.
  • Squick: The two servants inhabited the bodies of Martin and Grace. As in a husband and wife inhabited a brother and sister. Extra Squick if they did anything else before finding other bodies. At least they went for a married couple next.
  • Tear Jerker: The death of the patient at the beginning of the film. After being told his family want nothing to do with him, Caroline goes to dump a box of his belongings in the garbage. We then see that the trash is full of other such boxes. Remnants of an entire person's life just thrown out because their friends or family couldn't care less. Becomes almost a little more heartwarming when we see that Caroline keeps something of the man's, almost as a Due to the Dead. Likewise there is something rather sad that an elderly man on his deathbed wishes to be read Treasure Island. As he lies dying, with no family or friends (except his nurse), the thing that comforts him is a children's story.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheSkeletonKey