Monday, April 4, 2011

30 Day Horror Challenge: Day 12

This category usually overlaps into many other categories. The occult can involve supernatural elements, satanic rituals and many, many other horror staples. In fact, most horror films can slip into the occult, even slasher films. Even your favorite slashers have had the occult thrown into the story. Michael Myers, Chucky, Jason Voorhees and even Freddy Krueger have storylines mixed in with the occult, which makes this one of the most difficult choices. I decided to leave the slashers to the other days and focus on something that is entirely cult based.

Your favorite horror film involving the occult.
The Skeleton Key (2005)

I was a huge skeptic of this movie, until I actually saw the film. It is my belief that the PG-13 rating is the death knell for a horror movie. Rare is the film that can be effective in modern horror that is less than an R rating. Studios are looking for the largest demographic and horror movie directors are forced to trim important scenes in order to achieve a bankable rating. In reality, it most often sanitizes a horror film. There are reasons to make cuts to a film. Pacing is an acceptable reason. Story is another. A more accessible rating is not.

This film did get very mixed reviews. In fact, they were pretty low, on average. Maybe because of my lowered expectations, this struck more of a chord with me. I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

A hospice nurse, named Caroline, takes a job at an old New Orleans house. She explores the old house and finds a secret room filled with dolls and other assorted items used in magic. Caroline uncovers stories about previous owners and other occupants involved in Hoodoo.

Back and forth mayhem ensues, and in the end there are double crosses, unexpected twists and a creepy recording from the 1920s. It's all there to set the tone of the film and build up to the big reveal. I won't spoil the ins and outs of the movie for you, nor will I reveal the ending. Suffice to say, I was surprised at how engrossed I became in this movie.

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