Winchester Movie Review


Jake Ditto, Staff Writer

Winchester is officially the first terrible movie of the year. Winchester is based on the true events about Eric Price (Jason Clarke) sent to the Winchester house to investigate Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), the widow of the man who created the Winchester Rifle, to see whether or not she is insane. He is investigating her because she is continuously building onto her house with the money she got from her husband’s death and from the Winchester company. Sarah claims that she is building onto her house because of all of the ghosts that are there because they were killed by the Winchester Rifle.

When I heard about this movie in September, I was intrigued because I wanted to know why Sarah Winchester made this house with stairs and hallways leading to nowhere; the movie answers that question, but does it in a couple of seconds and is otherwise a cliched, disappointing and forgettable horror movie.

The directors of this movie are brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, and have shown in this movie that they have no idea how to create suspense and true horror, but instead only know how to have cheap jump scares with uninteresting characters. The crazy thing is that they proved that they can make a good movie when they made Predestination. They also made Jigsaw, which was an okay horror movie, so it is disappointing that they settled for this jumpscare filled mess.

This movie also takes elements of modern horror movies that were great, but turns them into cliches. The Spierig brothers do things like having false jump scares, a possessed child and a third act where the hero finds something out about themselves when they have the willpower to get rid of the spooky ghost. I felt like they wanted to be James Wan, who made modern horror classics like The Conjuring and Insidious, to the point of taking specific parts from these movies and using them shamelessly (such as ghosts in a haunted family home revealing themselves in the third act).

Along with bad direction, the writing was terrible. There is not a single interesting character. Jason Clarke is a fine actor, but unfortunately he is unable to give a good performance. From the beginning, he is unlikeable until the end and by then you don’t care about him.

Something else that could have been interesting was Sarah Winchester and the house itself. The only reason I was interested in this movie was because of the crazy house, but they don’t make it seem as interesting as it really is. It makes you feel as if the house is normal when the actual house is confusing and weird. Sarah Winchester was equally as bland as the house. The only thing I can tell you about her is that she got a lot of money from her dead husband and that she feels guilty about everyone that died from a Winchester rifle. You know you have a terrible character when Oscar winning Helen Mirren can’t save you.

There are also side characters in Sarah Winchester’s daughter and grandson. After watching this movie, I genuinely don’t know a single thing about either of these characters.  These are two of the lead actors in this movie and you don’t care about them. The grandson even gets possessed, but, thanks to a terrible script mixed with a confusing portrayal of demon possession, you could care less what happens by the end of the movie.

Winchester was a terrible, uninspired, cliche, ripoff, cash grab of a movie that I would not recommend to anyone.

Grade: D-