'Winchester' Review: A Ghoulish True Story That Never Ends


Let's be honest, there haven't been that many terrifying ghost stories these past few years. The horror genre has suffered greatly with gruesome films that focused more on violence rather than scaring audiences.

But this year, horror may be redeeming itself with the film Winchester. Based on the true story, the CBS film follows the tale of widow Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren) who builds an enormous mansion in San Jose, California to keep the spirits of lost souls appeased. 

Welcome to Winchester

For those who are familiar with the tale, Winchester would wear a black dress and veil around her house while she had workers build her home, 24 hours a day. She believed that her house was haunted and the rooms would keep the ghost away.

The film expands upon this story a bit more while giving it a fresh twist.

In the movie, Winchester believes that she is being haunted by victims who have died from the guns made from her company. Her husband died tragically after a battle with tuberculosis, leaving her 50 percent of the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. After his death and the death of her only child, Annie, Winchester moved to California and began to invest her money by building the never-ending home, much to the dismay of the board members.

The board decides to hire a physician, Dr. Eric Price (Jason Clarke), a self-medicating, disillusioned doctor who has recently lost his wife, to evaluate Winchester. Clarke, who is also in financial debt due to his abuse of medicine, agrees to meet and evaluate the widow. 

The film doesn't wait to get till the climax to start bringing in some scary moments, as Price starts to see a ghost in his room. Of course, the doctor rebuffs it as illusions from his self-medication. 

Throughout the film, Winchester tries to convince Price that she isn't crazy and that she must help these spirits move on because she feels responsible for their death. As the movie progresses, it turns out that the widow may not be as crazy as she seems. After several incidents occur, one which almost results in the death of one of Winchester's family members, Price tries to use logic to win this battle; however, he ends confronting a demon he thought he had buried a long time ago.

The film was directed by Michael and Peter Spierig and written by the Spierigs and Tom Vaughn. The horror film also stars Sarah Snook, Angus Sampson, Laura BrentTyler Coppin, and Thor Carlsso.

Horror fans will enjoy the storyline, likeable characters, and surprising twist that sets up an explosive ending. And for those who want to learn more about the infamous home, it still remains one of the most haunted houses in America. 

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