Terror is building.

Helen Mirren is haunted firearm heiress Sarah Winchester in this mystery thriller from the Speirig brothers (Jigsaw, Predestination).... More

Sarah Winchester (Mirren) is convinced that she is haunted by the souls killed at the hands of the Winchester repeating rifle. After the sudden deaths of her husband and child, she throws herself into the construction of an enormous mansion designed to keep the evil spirits at bay. But when skeptical San Francisco psychiatrist Eric Price (Jason Clarke, Everest) is dispatched to the estate to evaluate her state of mind, he discovers that her obsession may not be so insane after all.Hide

Flicks Review

In retrospect, the brief spark of ingenuity that the Spierig Brothers exhibited in 2014’s lovably loopy Predestination probably had more to do with the conceptual ballsiness of Robert A. Heinlein’s source text than anything. With a recent lacklustre attempt at franchise revival in Jigsaw, and now this goofy ghost thriller, it’s become even clearer that they’re the undistinguished genre travellers that they’ve always been: clearly big, avid fans of sci-fi and horror, with little of consummate craft nor consistent vision of their heroes.... More

Winchester is based on a true story of such bizarre circumstance it’s hard not to be somewhat curious. An eccentric rifle heiress with a connection to the spirit world. A haunted, maze-like Victorian mansion she kept renovating and constructing for nearly four decades. The combination of architectural weirdness and a mystifying historical character, delivered in a hot-button firearms-themed narrative, should’ve made for a unique, even potent, supernatural period piece. But Winchester is largely pedestrian, a things-go-bump-fest that’s milder than a trip to Spookers.

Jason Clarke, more comfortable as burly, square-jawed, militaristic men, feels ill-suited to playing Sarah Winchester’s booze-breathed psychiatrist, who unfortunately gets a substantial, and awfully dull, share of the plot. Where she pops up, Helen Mirren lends an air of respectability and a welcome dose of camp to the warmed-over material. Sidelining her might not have been such an issue if the Spierigs had done justice to the film’s next best asset: the house itself. Budgetary constraints aside, the labyrinthine geography of the mansion is poorly communicated, sapping much allure from its bounty of potentially atmospheric spaces.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 33 ratings, 32 reviews
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BY SweetP nobody

but sadly Winchester was like that staircase: it went nowhere. Interesting that it was based on true events and now I would like to know more about the Winchester house. Helen Mirren as always was great.

BY Hugo-Burns superstar

Having the sound drown out then explode into a jumpscare isn't frightening in the slightest and is lazily exploiting a natural human reaction and masquerading as 'horror'. Couple that with Jason Clarke who amazingly is able to match Jai Courtney and Sam Worthington in terms of blandness and a story that doesn't surprise or intrigue and what you get is a 90 minute thrill ride with out the thrills and feels about 3 hours. Sarah Snook does her best.

BY carrs nobody

I would say this movie is more a thriller than a horror but enjoyed the story as it kept me interested till the end, worth going to see

BY MariaC lister

Thankfully after the women stopped talking in the Flicks Preview, 30 minutes into the movie - I started to enjoy it. Definitely a lot more jumpy moments than the other thriller movies out there. Some ridiculous far-fetched scenes but I'd recommend it - there's far worse out there!

A house with about 100 rooms was not well represented in this film. Jump scares added little and the story was sparse.

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The Press Reviews

  • Sarah may not be crazy, but the film seems slightly nuts. Full Review

  • Winchester draws on a fascinating true story but then simplifies and sensationalises it to fit creaky, clunky horror conventions. Full Review

  • Despite an intriguing premise, Winchester misses the mark. Its anti-gun message is a shot in the right direction, but lazy fright tactics and a contradictory ending leave it firing blanks. Full Review

  • There's a great film to be made out of the Winchester story, but sadly this isn't it. Full Review

  • A staggeringly pointless supernatural non-chiller featuring some very tiresome jump scares. Full Review

  • Having laid out an unusually intricate and politically charged puzzle, "Winchester" proceeds to solve it in the clunkiest, most perfunctory way imaginable. Full Review

  • Ho-hum apparitions appear and disappear without a trace. Ms. Mirren and her representatives are probably hoping the movie will do likewise. Full Review

  • It shouldn't happen to anyone, much less a Dame - not a movie of such barreling awfulness that it strands the great Helen Mirren in a gothic house of cards that collapses on actors and audiences alike. Full Review