Ensconced in her sprawling San Jose, California mansion, eccentric firearm heiress Sarah Winchester (Dame Helen Mirren) believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle.
Inspired by true events. On an isolated stretch of land fifty miles outside of San Francisco sits the most haunted house in the world. Built by Sarah Winchester (Dame Helen Mirren) heiress to the Winchester fortune, it is a house that knows no end. Constructed in an incessant twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week mania for decades, it stands seven stories tall and contains hundreds of rooms. To an outsider it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman's madness. But Sarah is not building for herself, for her niece Marion (Sarah Snook), nor for the brilliant Dr. Eric Price (Jason Clarke), who she has summoned to the house. She is building a prison, an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts, and the most terrifying amongst them have a score to settle with the Winchesters.
In real-life, Sarah Winchester was 4' 10", while Dame Helen Mirren is 5' 4" tall. See more »
A large portion of the movie has to deal with the famous Winchester lever-action rifle being used during the American Civil War. This is factually wrong. The first Winchester lever-action model did not appear until after the war, in 1866. The similar-looking Henry rifle and the Spencer rifle were the main repeaters used during the war, and even then repeating rifles were themselves rare on the average Civil War battlefield. Most troops used then-traditional single-shot weapons, primarily "rifle-muskets." See more »
While I did like a little bit of the film, the story of Ms. Winchester was just so inaccurate. (Skip to paragraph 2 if you don't care about accuracy) I live less than 20 miles from the Winchester house and have been there multiple times and know the story. First of all, she wasn't building the house to protect herself from attacking spirits, she was building it out of guilt to help the spirits she supposedly communicated with, and while the film briefly touches on that, the majority is her building the house to protect from evil spirits, which is untrue, it was guilt and she was building it to serve as a home to spirits . She also wasn't an ominous and foreboding old woman who always wore black in a haunted house, by all accounts she was a normal and social woman who held many community events and parties at her house. But besides that the film was hit an miss, some good scares and atmosphere, and some not so good.
Helen Mirren did an alright job with her role and the rest of the actors were also very average. The atmosphere was well done, but good direction is not needed because the house itself is beautiful and mysterious. The scares are hit and miss, out of about 12, only 2 got me, but I'm a horror veteran, a group of teenage girls however screamed multiple times. Some scares work because of the accented atmosphere, but some are pretty lame and predictable, making the film an average chiller with noting very special. Over all the film is just another average effort for a Hollywood horror film that does not shine like other better films.
I would not recommend this to horror veterans.
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