I’m going to keep this review short and sweet. Not because I have other plans but because Winchester has very little to say. A haunting movie with the cast that this film boasts should be exciting. Instead, we get 100 minutes of boring choices, jump scares and possibly Helen Mirren’s worst performance.
The plot of Winchester is simple enough. Sarah Winchester (Mirren), widow of famed gun-maker, William Winchester, believes she is cursed by those who died from her husband’s firearms. Mourning the loss of her husband, and son, she uses her inheritance to build an enormous mansion in San Jose, California. This, of course, is all based on the real-life story, because what the hell isn’t these days?
This does sound like an interesting story and, quite frankly, it is from a historical standpoint. However, it does not transfer to film very well. It’s a snoozefest, a bore, with very little happening to insight interest or, ya know, fright? Slow burns are great, especially in the horror field but there needs to be a payoff for the audience to give a damn and Winchester does not provide that.
Characters are stupid, plain stupid. Sarah constantly wonders why her gigantic, open and wooden house is making noises. Hmmm, I wonder what it could possibly be. Mirren, who always brings some weight to her roles, really drops the ball here. I’m shocked. She goes through the motions, looking as though she doesn’t want to be there.
Then there’s Jason Clarke. I wondered about a year or so ago why he wasn’t in as many big roles as he was in 2013-2015. This is why. The guy is just vanilla, constantly boring you to death I couldn’t even remember his name without a quick IMDB search.
The scares are garbage, plain and simple. They’re the run-of-the-mill jump scares with loud noises and silliness behind them. I could choreograph everyone. Sometimes that’s fine, if you’re enjoying the film. But when a movie is leaving you in a state of boredom, even the scariest part (yes, there’s one) leaves you going…eh.
Don’t see it. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. No, I’m not talking about The Bye-Bye Man. I’m informing you that Winchester sucks, so much so they cramped it next to the IMAX theater and all I could hear was Den of Thieves from my seat. This was a complete waste of time that had one positive note; it was shot well. That’s it. Don’t bother. Skip it. Forget it, like I will.