Updated: Jul 19, 2021
The 294th review!
I am finally on Vacation All I Ever Wanted and it couldn’t come at a better time. Like I alluded to earlier, it’s been a rough week for us so being able to spend time with my family and not put together a newscast is going to very nice. So tonight, I got to watch a movie with Dear for only the second time this October and it’s one we’ve been wanting to watch for a long time. Tonight we sat down and checked out...
Winchester (2018). Netflix
Full disclosure, Dear and I are big “Supernatural” fans. That was actually the first show we ever watched together. The two main characters; Sam and Dean have the last name “Winchester” named after the maker of the rifle and owner of the house in this movie. My friend Larry and I went to Wrestlemania a few years back in Santa Clara, and we were so close to the Winchester Mystery House. I was very tempted to go see it, but I knew if I went there without Dear, well... let’s just say it wouldn’t have ended well for me.
As you may already know, the owner of the house, Sarah Winchester was convinced the people killed by the Winchester rifle haunted her house. The only way to keep the spirits at bay was to keep building and rebuilding her house. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year they were building. Naturally that raised a few eyebrows because that house has no rhyme or reason. Doors lead to nowhere, stairs turn to dead ends and there are windows on floors. So the Winchester Repeater Company, of which she owns 51%, wants a doctor to say she’s crazy so they can take the company from her.
That’s where we come in. For a reason that’s not clear at first, Sarah chooses the doctor that will give her evaluation. The company essentially bribes him to say she’s crazy and you can tell he’s not in the greatest frame of mind either as we first meet him drinking poison with a group of ladies of the night. Needing the money, he agrees to assess Mrs. Winchester and will stay at the house for the duration. While there, creepy things start happening involving a young child who seemingly gets possessed, and although the doctor is a skeptic, he eventually gets drawn into Sarah’s world, kicking and screaming.
Ya know what? I liked it. It’s not the greatest thing in the world, but the story behind the house and how they brought it to life is very cool. Looking at it, it’s a big, beautiful monstrosity that towers over the lush grass and that’s just the exterior, inside is even cooler! There so many twists and turns in this house and so many things lurking in the shadows, it’s fun watching the doctor wander the twisty hallways because you, and the character, have no idea what’s just around the corner. I know it’s based on actual place, but still it’s a very awesome sandbox these people get to play in.
Conversely, I was a little disappointed they didn’t play up that aspect as much as I would have liked. The house is literally a maze and the doctor hasn’t been in there long, but he never really gets turned around or accidentally corners himself on a dead end. When something frightening happens and he’s on the run he immediately gets where he needs to go. It’s not a big thing, but I do feel it was a missed opportunity.
It’s a fun haunted house story. Sure the plot isn’t the greatest, it’s pretty standard fare but I actually enjoyed the scares even if they were all pretty much of the jump-scare variety. You pretty much knew when they were coming, but still some were imaginative and because everyone killed by those rifles made their way to the house, the ghosts were all varied and had something unique about them. Some were in worse shape than others due to their deaths, but all of them shared the same creepy dead eyes and it was always off-putting seeing them.
I also enjoyed the back and forth between the doctor and Sarah, played by Dame Helen Mirren. Sarah is an exceptionally smart and sharp woman, despite her perceived craziness. And when they’re going through their examinations, she’s probing him as much as he does her. She’s trying to get him some place but he refuses to be led there. It’s a good dynamic between the two and it’s a good time when they share the screen.
For me, this isn’t a movie I’m going to go out and buy or probably even remember it four months from now. It’s one of those that I’ll see pop up somewhere in the future and think, “Oh yeah, I remember that movie. I liked it.”
That’s about all you can expect from a film like this. It has a great setting, some pretty good characters and genuinely frightening moments. It’s worth a watch if you’re not expecting it to blow your socks off.
6.5 Dr. Chainsaws!
Supernatural Horror Movies The heiress to a vast firearms fortune constructs a mansion with a maze-like interior to ward off the spirits of those killed by her family's product. Based on a real-life house in California, "Winchester" stars Best Actress Oscar winner Helen Mirren.
Cast: Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook, Angus Sampson, Finn Scicluna-O'Prey, Laura Brent, Tyler Coppin, Eamon Farren, Bruce Spence