‘Winchester’ Review

WinchesterWinchester is a supernatural horror film directed by the Spierig Brothers and stars Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Angus Sampson and Sarah Snook. The story, which is inspired by true events, follows Dr. Eric Price who is hired by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company to evaluate Sarah Winchester’s mental state as she claims to be haunted by the spirits of those killed by the Winchester rifle inside her San Jose mansion in 1902. The plot of this film is very basic and tries very hard to provide as many jump scares as possible. Most of the acting is subpar with Helen Mirren barely standing out above the rest. Her portrayal of Sarah Winchester is haunting, to say the least. She is smarter than other characters give her credit for and thoroughly explains why she is building her house a certain way. If one were to actually listen to her they would immediately be able to see she is telling the truth about the spirits. Jason Clarke is serviceable as Dr. Eric Price, but his character is nothing more than a plot device. We barely get any time with the character before he is whisked away to the Queen Anne Style Victorian mansion at the behest of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Price spends most of the film doing things that make no sense for no other purpose than it was written in the script. Dr. Price’s backstory should have been a more integral part of the film. Since it isn’t, his character feels like a waste, which is upsetting because his backstory and connection with Sarah Winchester would make for a good twist. Sarah Snook gives a very bland performance as Marian Marriott, Sarah’s niece. She is almost robotic in her role, giving no emotion whatsoever. She clearly knows her aunt is not crazy, yet tries to defy her the first chance he gets. The film contains many plot holes concerning why the ghosts are trapped in the house and how they can be put to peace. The methods that Sarah uses to keep the ghosts at bay are never backed up by any other logic other than that she says it is so. Also, the motives of the main villain are laughable at best. It is also never explained why this ghost is way more powerful than all the others. I give Winchester a Bad 4/10. Overall the film is not very scary and can be quite boring. Winchester would have actually worked better as an episode of Supernatural. Seeing as Sarah shares the same last name as Sam and Dean, I’m sure a fun story could have been worked up.

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