The Skeleton Key |


Kate Hudson, The Skeleton Key

(The Skeleton Key: Merrick Morton)

Having spent years making cute and sunny romantic comedies, Kate Hudson is ready to scream (and after Raising Helen, who wouldn’t be?) — hence, this supernatural creeper from Ehren Kruger, the writer of The Ring, and Iain Softley, the director of K-Pax. ”I’ve read thriller and horror scripts before,” says Hudson, ”but I felt like this one was really something more interesting.” Hudson plays a hospice worker hired to care for an elderly husband and wife (John Hurt and Gena Rowlands) in a decaying Louisiana bayou mansion, where she stirs up some serious voodoo; Peter Sarsgaard costars as a local attorney who represents the couple’s estate.

For Hudson, the key appeal was the film’s old-school, character-driven approach: ”This movie’s not infiltrated with gore and digital effects,” says the actress, whose pregnancy delayed production for eight months. ”There are no weird goblins hanging over me or anything like that. I always think the scariest movies are the ones that are actually somewhat realistic, like The Exorcist or Don’t Look Now or Rosemary’s Baby. This is more of a throwback to that genre — a what’s-behind-the-door movie — which was refreshing. And it was also refreshing for me not to have to smile at all.”