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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2005), PG-13 [R-13*] (1hr 38min)
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Brick Dust Productions LLC, Daniel Bobker Productions, Double Feature Films, Universal Pictures
Distribution (US): Universal Pictures, Universal Studios Inc.
Director(s): Iain Softley
Producer(s): Holly Bario, Daniel Bobker, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Iain Softley, Scott Stuber, Clayton Townsend
Written by: Ehren Kruger
Cinematography/Camera: Daniel Mindel
Music: Ed Shearmur
Film Editing: Joe Hutshing
Casting: Lisa Mae Fincannon, Ronna Kress
Production Design: John Beard
Art Direction: Drew Boughton, Suttirat Anne Larlarb
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Fed up with the lack of concerns of the staff of the home for the elderly when the aged die, nurse Caroline Ellis (Kate Hudson) strikes out on her own to be a home health care provider.
Caroline is the only candidate who accepts the job of caring for dying stroke victim Ben Devereaux (John Hurt) who who is little more than a vegetable. Ben's wife, Violet (Gena Rowlands in a most atypical role) is doing what she can to care for her husband. But she cannot do it alone. Bathing of Ben in particular. Though it is not immoral for a nurse to give a bath to an invalid, it is to display it. And there is exposure to an adult in skimpy underwear. If displaying adults in skimpy underwear is not sexually-oriented, why do filmmakers not use fat old people to parade the skimpy underwear? It is not the elderly Ben nor the likewise elderly Violet we see in underwear. Nor is it the elderly Ben or Violet who displays the nudity seen in this film.
In the hanging moss bayou swamps of Louisiana at 1750 Bayou Chapelette only one hour away from her apartment in New Orleans, Caroline begins to suspect Ben is not a victim of a stroke but is a victim of his wife who has been the victim of someone else who has been the victim of ... for several "generations." The same goes for Ben. All through evil magic to steal life from others.
The only problem Violet has with Caroline, other than she is white, is that Caroline will not likely be able to "understand the house." The house is an old mansion built by Thorpe, a corrupt banker 90 years ago. The Devereauxs have been occupying it since 1969.
The story goes that so many years ago a wild party ended up in evil revelry. Apparently for Hoodoo kicks, of one of the servants was set ablaze while hanging by the neck. By the way, according to the story, Hoodoo is not Voodoo. A character tells that Voodoo is a religion but Hoodoo, a Southern folklore form of witchcraft with African and European origins, is dangerous.
Violet gives Caroline a key - a skeleton key - that will open any door in the 30-room mansion. As time progresses and duties take her into an increasing number of rooms, Violet becomes more confident in Caroline and directs that Caroline fetch some planting seeds from the previously verbotten attic room in which Ben supposedly had the stroke. But as the busy-body Caroline is, she found a door that her skeleton key would not open.
After a string of attempts to get the door open, Caroline succeeds and finds things that were not meant to be found. One of the items on the list of things not meant to be found were mirrors. Many mirrors. Big mirrors. Small mirrors. And in-between mirrors. One was a floor-length mirror on casters. Caroline had noted there were no mirrors anywhere in the house, which was explained by Violet that folks her age do not need mirrors to remind them of the wrinkles every day. But the real reason the mirrors were locked up in the attic room, though certainly connected with Violet, is not at all related to Violet's wrinkles.
After finding many signals that Ben had not suffered a stroke after all, Caroline tries to get Ben out of the house. During her rescue attempts, Caroline finds that one of the friendly associates of the Devereaux estate, estate lawyer Luke Marshall (Peter Sarsgaard) was not friendly at all. At least not unless he got what he wanted from Caroline. That which he - and Violet - wanted Caroline was not willing to give. Not at all! But did.
Yes, mom/dad, this is a movie of witchcraft, demonism and Satanic rituals. Complete with sprinkling of brick dust, candles, circles on the floor, incantations and infant/child victims. And body parts in formaldehyde. Before all the "Hoodooians" start barking, I don't care what it is called by man. If a supernatural power is not of God it is unholy. So the rituals were Satanic. No, that is not ignorance. That is knowledge of the Truth; that is Armor in His Word. [Rev. 21:8, Rev. 22:15]
And, of course, the film deeply minimizes the Christian faith by making it nothing more than just another religion, treating it as unmentionable. However, Jesus was mentioned. Three times. In vain. Each time. Just as God was mentioned. Three times. In vain. Each time. [Deut. 5:11]
With a final score of 23 out of 100 and an influence density of 2.19, this PG-13 The Skeleton Key is about as "R" as "R" can get: nudity by a woman bathing herself which, as usual, has absolutely nothing to do with the PG-13 plot, put there for absolutely no reason but to get nudity in the film [**, Rev. 21:8, Rev. 22:15]; many forms of foul language, including God's name in vain both with and without the four letter expletive and the most foul of the foul words, just not as many as most R-rated films [Col. 3:8]; drugs; violence; evil; drunkenness [Eph. 5:18]; much more One man was set ablaze while he was hanging by the neck [Rev. 21:8, Rev. 22:15]. Most R-rated films require three and sometimes four logsheets to record all the instances of assault on morality and ethics. The Skeleton Key required five.
The movie did had something to say, but should what it had to say be heard? And the performers were stellar. But what was performed was cellar. [Phil. 4:8]
Please inspect carefully the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether to let your kids see this one. Indeed, before you decide whether to see it for yourself. Desensitization toward the glory of our Lord and His Word can work on adults, too. Maybe not nearly as much as on pre-adults who seem most vulnerable to seduction by temptations of control without accountability, but it can. [1 Cor. 15:33]
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
(The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary/
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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