Out Now On-Demand
Terror is building.
Helen Mirren is haunted firearm heiress Sarah Winchester in this mystery thriller from the Speirig brothers (Jigsaw, Predestination).
Sarah Winchester (Mirren) is convinced that she is haunted by the souls killed at the hands of the Winchester repeating rifle. After the sudden deaths of her husband and child, she throws herself into the construction of an enormous mansion designed to keep the evil spirits at bay. But when skeptical San Francisco psychiatrist Eric Price (Jason Clarke, Everest) is dispatched to the estate to evaluate her state of mind, he discovers that her obsession may not be so insane after all.
- Trailer 2
- Clip ('Labyrinth')
- Clip ('Joining the Dining Table')
- Clip ('Purpose of the Construction')
Horror, Mystery, Thriller, True Story & Biography
Rating: M Supernatural themes & violence
In retrospect, the brief spark of ingenuity that the Spierig Brothers exhibited in 2014’s lovably loopy Predestination probably had more to do with the conceptual ballsiness of Robert A. Heinlein’s source text than anything. With a recent lacklustre attempt at franchise revival in Jigsaw, and now this goofy ghost thriller, it’s become even clearer that they’re the undistinguished genre travellers that they’ve always been: clearly big, avid fans of sci-fi and horror, with little of consummate craft nor consistent vision of their heroes.
Winchester is based on a true story of such bizarre circumstance it’s hard not to be somewhat curious. An eccentric rifle heiress with a connection to the spirit world. A haunted, maze-like Victorian mansion she kept renovating and constructing for nearly four decades. The combination of architectural weirdness and a mystifying historical character, delivered in a hot-button firearms-themed narrative, should’ve made for a unique, even potent, supernatural period piece. But Winchester is largely pedestrian, a things-go-bump-fest that’s milder than a trip to Spookers.
Jason Clarke, more comfortable as burly, square-jawed, militaristic men, feels ill-suited to playing Sarah Winchester’s booze-breathed psychiatrist, who unfortunately gets a substantial, and awfully dull, share of the plot. Where she pops up, Helen Mirren lends an air of respectability and a welcome dose of camp to the warmed-over material. Sidelining her might not have been such an issue if the Spierigs had done justice to the film’s next best asset: the house itself. Budgetary constraints aside, the labyrinthine geography of the mansion is poorly communicated, sapping much allure from its bounty of potentially atmospheric spaces.
Total Film (UK)
The Guardian (UK)
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)
I’m so glad someone finally made a movie about this story. Well scripted, nicely place all of the fact about her and house together in the movie. Lovely gesture to show her photographs (only few exist) at the start and end of the movie.
Its a beautifully shot banal film
I don't believe its based on truth, yes she exists and the house exists but its a story spun by those selling tours to the Winchester Mystery House. As a film its pretty but lacking, like so many horror films if you don't make the audience care for the characters why watch. There is nothing original and the ending is so obvious. I had more fun watching my teenage daughter hide from anything remotely scary as she cursed me making her come with me. Probably wouldn't have come had I not won the tickets.
MADE ME JUMP..
but sadly Winchester was like that staircase: it went nowhere. Interesting that it was based on true events and now I would like to know more about the Winchester house. Helen Mirren as always was great.
More like Lose-chester
Having the sound drown out then explode into a jumpscare isn't frightening in the slightest and is lazily exploiting a natural human reaction and masquerading as 'horror'. Couple that with Jason Clarke who amazingly is able to match Jai Courtney and Sam Worthington in terms of blandness and a story that doesn't surprise or intrigue and what you get is a 90 minute thrill ride with out the thrills and feels about 3 hours. Sarah Snook does her best.
Few scary jumps with a good story
I would say this movie is more a thriller than a horror but enjoyed the story as it kept me interested till the end, worth going to see
Thankfully after the women stopped talking in the Flicks Preview, 30 minutes into the movie - I started to enjoy it. Definitely a lot more jumpy moments than the other thriller movies out there. Some ridiculous far-fetched scenes but I'd recommend it - there's far worse out there!
Keith La Rue
More of the house would be prefered
A house with about 100 rooms was not well represented in this film. Jump scares added little and the story was sparse.
Loved all the jump frights
I thought this was done really well, lots of scares which I find I don't normally get from horror movies. Had some good facts at the end for those that don't have a background to Sarah Winchester at all
Good for some Quick Frights
Helen Mirren gives a solid performance in Winchester. But it's still not quite enough to carry the movie across the line. The story-line was passable, but the plethora of cheap frights became annoying after a while. Some interesting ideas are explored, but I was a little disappointed with the film, as a whole.
The scariest part of this movie is the fact that it is "inspired by actual events". But I would save my money and wait for the next Insidious installment.