Winchester is directed by the Spierig Brothers is a film based on the true “terrifying” events of the most haunted house in America: the Winchester Mystery House. I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that the events depicted are extremely loose.
The Winchester House is actually a place in San Jose, California and that’s the extent of my knowledge on the matter. I’m not looking for historical accuracy, I’m just looking for a good horror movie.
I just didn’t find it here with this hodgepodge of mundane, not-so-scary, sequences in this haunted house.
I’m almost at a loss for words to describe this film because I’m essentially just going to be rehashing the typical problems a standard horror movie has. For this case, I’d figure I just list off the reasons why Winchester doesn’t work.
- Jump scares; you’ve seen them a hundred times, you see when it’s coming, and you see how it’s going to happen before it happens. Nothing new, clever, innovative, or remotely scary with how scares are presented. They’re just accompanied by a sudden burst of stock sound effects.
- Premise; it’s set up fairly well in the beginning, but then beyond that and quite frankly, it’s just so boring afterwards. For so long, nothing of real note happens and then when something does happen, it’s just a jump scare.
- Characters; they’re presented in such uninteresting and unappealing fashion that once we’re pass the initial setup, there’s no good enough reason to give any these characters any kind of investment.
- Take Jason Clarke‘s character. Clarke is a good actor, his character is written so dull. Of course he’s got a troubled past, but who doesn’t it a horror movie? We really don’t learn anything about him that would spark real intrigue, at least not until the end, but by then I’m already checked out. This was basically a “give me my paycheck” role for him.
In the end, Winchester feels like one of those movies you’d find in the bottom corner on the right of a Redbox. I’ll do you one better; Winchester feels like one of those movies you’d find if you were browsing deep down into Netflix’s horror database for hours on end.
Aside from some fine performances from Clarke and Helen Mirren, both of which are trying to sell this story, Winchester is just a very tedious, run-of-the-mill spooky movie that slipped into February.
I’m going to give Winchester a “D-” as my final take. If only this was based off Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural, that’s a long overdue movie waiting to happen.
As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.