Winchester Synopsis: Ensconced in her sprawling California mansion, eccentric firearm heiress Sarah Winchester believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle.
Director(s): The Speirig Brothers
Release Date: 2018-2-2 | Runtime: 1 hr 39 min | Coolthulhus Earned 3
Triggers: Child death mentioned, sensitive image shown
So, when I saw the trailer for Winchester, I was a little intrigued. Not a lot, but a little. A bit more so when I realized that Helen Mirren was in it. Though I can’t say I could name anything else she’s been in off-hand, I did recognize that she had a bit of weight behind her name. Her presence, combined with Jason Clarke (who I recognize more as a “Hey, it’s that guy” than actually recognize) gave me some hope for the movie. Hence stealing away on a Friday afternoon, paying entirely too much money for a ticket and popcorn to get the big-screen experience.
Winchester could have been good, if it didn’t feel like they were scared to go outside the realm of jump-scares. (Though, I will give the directors credit for surprising me and putting a different spin on the typical mirror scare.) Most of the acting was decent-to-solid, but the actors were sorely limited by a distinctly yawn-worthy script.
In regards to the Winchester cast: Clarke has an undeniable charisma. The way Mirren portrayed Sara Winchester, she had that haughty, truth-speaking old lady thing going on that I appreciated and thought I was in for a treat. I was wrong, unfortunately. I felt very much like Mirren’s heart wasn’t in her role at all, and hiding her behind a veil was sometimes the only way to disguise the cardboard of her eyes. Sarah Snook reminded me a bit of Maggie Smith, and she had a way of keeping your attention on her. However, Henry, played by Finn Scicluna-O’Prey was barely worth noticing. Scicluna-O’Prey’s ability to command attention on the screen was pretty much solely limited to the well-light scenes featuring his brilliant red hair. (I feel really mean saying that about a younger actor, but it’s the truth.)
The pacing was middling. I definitely got the fidgets a few times during the movie. The dialogue had it’s moments. (There’s a scene between Mirren and Clarke that’ll have you snickering.) The action, such as it was, was bland and cliched. The ending scene had me rolling my eyes.
Overall, Winchester wasn’t god-awful, but it wasn’t something your average horror-movie watcher hasn’t seen 999 times before. It’s one to rent at your local Redbox, or when it his Amazon, but not worth paying movie theatre prices for right now.
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