In THE LEGEND OF LUCY KEYES, a couple moves into an idyllic countryside abode with their two daughters, only to find it haunted by the mother of a girl who mysteriously disappeared there 250 years ago. Julie Delphy (THREE COLORS WHITE) and Justin Theroux … see full wiki
I’ve never seen a movie so bad that I thought I’d have trouble finding more than 20 words to describe it. Still, while very bad The Legend of Lucy Keyes is not as bad as Hostel.
Jane and Guy Cooley (Julie Delpy and Justin Theroux respectively), city folk, move to a mountain town so that Guy can install 8 windmills to power the town. They move into a long deserted farm house with a past. The couple and their two daughters, one named Lucy, meet the immediate neighbors, sort of. Since this is a scary flick and it is set in a rolling mountain town that has to be somewhere in the Appalachians, the town is filled with gothic suspicion. The story splits into two—one natural, the other supernatural. The natural story has Guy fighting a good portion of the town over the windmill project which is being driven by a native. The supernatural involves the original owners of the farm 250 years before and a daughter, Lucy, who went missing. I won’t spill any more beans just in case someone wants to try this turkey. Needless to say, both the natural and supernatural plots end predictably.
There is nothing in this movie that wasn’t already covered in a host of other terrible movies: Windego, Mothman Prophecies, Hide and Seek, and even a little Blair Witch and any other ‘thriller’ where city folk move to the country. If you’ve seen any of these, then you’ve seen large portions of Lucy Keyes.
The film claims to be “based on a true story.” The word “based” always makes me so dubious that I distrust it from the get ready (remember that The Amityville Horror was based on a true story that turned out totally false). I also think it is a silly trope. Someone involved in the film industry overhears a ghost story in a roadside diner; alternately the filmmaker is intimate with the ghost story since he/she grew up around it. They figure, since ghost stories are relatively popular, they have something they can pitch to a producer.
Besides, what does the notion of being based on a true story really do—if it is supposed to heighten the fear, then most of these movies fail because they really aren’t scary in the first place. There is, and I imagine there will always be, a need for ghost stories but there is a massive difference between sitting around a room or fire and listening to a great story teller and sitting in a theater and watching moving pictures.
All ghost stores are essentially the same. A great story teller can make you forget this, but given that all ghost stories are the same, he/she is going to have to be a singular talent. Filmmakers have to focus on things other than the words used to tell the tale and it is with this distraction that ghost stories fall apart on screen.
The performances by the adults were passable, at least not distracting. The children are another story. To Kill a Mockingbird had Mary Badham cast as Scout; every time she opened her mouth I wanted to claw my ears off especially when she screamed “Atticus,” something that occurred with torturous regularity. The children in Lucy Keyes are only different in that their shrillness is about two steps below the aural assault from the young Ms. Badham.
There is nothing to recommend this movie.
What did you think of this review?