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Sam Posten

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Winchester - Bluray review
winchester_071.jpg



Sarah Lockwood Winchester (Helen Mirren), widow and heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, has retreated from Connecticut to a home she is building in California. No mere bungalow, the house is a sprawling mansion with hundreds of rooms, a maze of connections, and doors that open upon dangerous drops. She insists that she can see and talk to spirits, and may be building rooms to appease the anger of Winchester rifle shooting victims. This has raised the concern of the company. Psychologist Dr. Eric Price (Jason Clarke) is brought in to evaluate whether Sarah is capable of managing rational decisions needed to lead the company's operations. Price has had his own encounters with death in the past, and his judgement is questionably impaired by the memories of those events as well.

Winchester-movie-poster-with-Helen-Mirren-300x150.jpg

[review]
 

Sam Posten

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Sam Posten

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Thankfully, "Winchester" leveled my unfair expectations simply by being silly and fun. Most of the film is genuinely atmospheric, thanks especially to the omnipresent construction noises (hammers on chisels, saws through planks) that surround the house. And there are some well-choreographed setpieces, particularly the one where a rifle slowly but surely fires right next to Mirren's head. Clarke gives one of his best performances to date, and even the expository dialogue is florid enough to be enjoyable. Finally: who could resist an eccentrically baroque haunted house brought to life without computer-generated imagery? What "Winchester" lacks in originality its creators make up for in execution.

Agreed on all points.
https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/winchester-2018
 

benbess

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Sam Posten wrote in his excellent review back in 2018:

"The Spierig Brothers seem to have taken great care to have believable characters who genuinely seem to have real motivations and back stories. They grounded the story with the real events of Sarah’s life and have created a fictitious haunting that is in line with her history. There are a few jump scares but no blood or gore. I was struck by the classic structure and execution, reminding me of many great Vincent Price haunted tales I loved in my youth.

They really scored big by getting Helen Mirren to sign on. She is perfectly cast as someone you can believe is strong willed, aristocratic, and powerful, yet empathetic enough to believe that she is capable of communing with spirits. In quite a contrast, I just saw her last week in Eye in the Sky, which is a modern military drama which I heartily recommend. Despite the hundred years of difference between them, you can see many parallels in the confident women that these roles portray. Jason Clarke is also an inspired choice for a foil to Mirren. His scalawag psychologist Dr. Price provides a more likable point of view for the audience to follow as we peel the onion back on the Winchester House and Sarah herself, while slowly discovering that Price has secrets of his own."

I just watched my blu-ray of this movie, which has been sitting on my shelf unopened for more than three years. My 20-year old daughter has been really getting into horror in the last few years, and so we watched it together. it was her first time and she really liked it. Some jump scares indeed! Works just as well the second time from my pov. Good blu-ray.

As is mentioned by Sam P. in his review at the start of this thread, this is an interesting article about the real house.

 
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