Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 2005. Universal Pictures, ShadowCatcher Entertainment, Double Feature Films, Daniel Bobker Productions, Brick Dust Productions LLC, MFPV Film. Screenplay by Ehren Kruger. Cinematography by Daniel Mindel. Produced by Daniel Bobker, Lorenzo P. Lampthwait, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Iain Softley. Music by Ed Shearmur. Production Design by John Beard. Costume Design by Louise Frogley. Film Editing by Joe Hutshing.
Silly, overwrought thriller that is entertaining enough to keep you seated for two hours. Kate Hudson plays a nursing home employee who decides to improve her salary by working privately in the old New Orleans mansion of a cantankerous old woman (Gena Rowlands, brilliant as ever) and her ailing husband (John Hurt). After discovering a strange room in the attic with her skeleton key, Hudson learns that her employer dabbles in Hoodoo, a form of pagan magic that could possibly be the explanation for Hurt’s illness. She attempts to dig deeper into the mystery, but Rowlands is eventually onto her game and starts making life just a little more dangerous for her. Some fun chills and thrills and a most welcome performance by Peter Sarsgaard as the family lawyer take a pretty formulaic horror movie and turn it into a fun night at the movies.