The Skeleton Key
Plot: Caroline is a nurse that gets hired in New Orleans to work for a older woman and her husband who is a shut-in. She'll be a live in nurse. When traveling to the isolated house, she stops at a gas station and is greeted with a few local Voudon believers. Caroline then meets the lawyer for the couple. They start up a friendship as the woman, Violet, stalks around the house. With only a few days into the job, Caroline starts to notice the behavouir the husband, he's terrified of his wife. On her day off, she ends up going to an occult store picking up a curse kit to remove what the old man thinks is a curse, thinking herself that if he believes so dearly that if she uses it he will believe he's better. She has access to every part of the property but one room in the attic, which she becomes obsessed with and soon learns it is a Hoodoo room that was used by former residents. Caroline is then taken down a road of magick and madness, unsure who to believe until she sees the proof herself.
This is one of those films that falls firmly into the class of being a Thriller and not a Horror. Still, it serves up more chills then some of the stuff that's over run with gore. I've always found the topic of madness to be a perfect setting for movies, as the idea of being left helpless to what others believe around you is a common human fear.
It does take on the topic of race and slavery to an extent, which in this case is mixed so well with the occult themes that you do not get the impact you might have otherwise.
Faith in the end is stronger then fiction. Which is what the movie's subcore is. What do you believe and what you can see in front of your face, how much is illusion and how much is for real?
This also goes deep into the idea of trusting intuition. Everything that the lead character was feeling, she dismissed because it didn't seem logical. Sometimes, reality isn't logical.
I've been told there is a sequel, but I've never come across it.