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Winchester Film Review

Updated on December 7, 2018
Helen Mirren
Sarah Winchester
Finn Scicluna -O'Prey
Henry Marriot
Sarah Snook
Marion Marriott
Jason Clarke
Dr Eric Price
Angus Sampson
John Hanson
Laura Brent
Ruby Price
Tyler Coppin
Arthur Gates

About the film

Released: 2018

Directors: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig

Producers: Tim McGrahan, Brett Tomberlin

Running time: 1 hr 39 mins

Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Biography

Budget: $3,500,000

Distributed by: Lionsgate, CBS Films

The Film

This film is loosely based on real life events. When I saw this advertised on Netflix, I decided to watch it as the synopsis piqued my interest. Sarah Winchester is the main character in the film, played by Helen Mirren. After the sudden death of her husband, William, she was left with a $20 million inheritance. They also lost a child called Annie which, of course, left her in a lot of grief. After the death of her husband her grief was escalated, naturally. Sarah believes she is being cursed by the ghosts of those that have died as a result of the guns which her husband had produced. William was a very successful manufacturer of guns. Sarah also lives in a very large mansion, and is always adding more rooms. Currently under construction, she believes she needs these rooms to house the ghosts. Marion Marriot is a relative of Sarah's, and lives with her with her young son, Henry. But at night, Henry seems to be taken over by another entity.

The year is 1906 and Doctor Eric Price has been hired by the Winchester Company to stay in the house to assess Sarah. Sarah is described as chaotic as the house itself, the company believe that Sarah is not mentally stable enough to stay in charge of the company. Sarah does not hide the fact that she can see ghosts, and admit to trying to help them move on. It's not too long into the film though that the Doctor starts seeing and felling strange goings on in the house. With Sarah wanting to continuously extra rooms onto her mansion to house the ghosts, you can understand why people would think she's not altogether clear thinking. But clearly, there is something going on in the house, which Dr Price sees for himself. We see this, as I mentioned earlier, with the little boy, Henry. It is up to the doctor to determine whether he thinks she is stable enough to keep in control of the business or not.

My thoughts

When I first started watching this film, I didn't know what to expect. This is loosely based on the real life events of Sarah Winchester, who died in 1922. After the death of her husband and infant, she believed that she needed the extra rooms to house the ghosts of those that have died at the hands of the guns that her husband's company made. Today, the Winchester Mansion is open to the public.

The film, from the start, is dark and eerie. I can understand why Dr Price would feel apprehensive entering this house. I found Sarah Winchester to be a dark character, and one you wouldn't want to mess with. Living in this ever growing mansion to house her ghostly beings, you can understand why people would think she is mad. Clearly she's not though. She knows what she's talking about and she knows what she sees. We see these ghostly apparitions coming through in little Henry. A sweet, quiet child normally. It's like he's 2 different people when he's possessed.

Although the film isn't very gory and, in my opinion, not very scary, I still found it interesting to watch. I like Helen Mirren's role as Sarah Winchester. Finn Scicluna - O'Frey, who plays Henry, played an excellent role as the demon possessed child. And with Dr Price experiencing some of these apparitions first hand, it is interesting to see how he deals with this.

I read somewhere that Helen Mirren describes this as a ghost story and not a horror film. I agree with that. It's not one of those films that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. Far from it. Although there are some slightly menacing scenes in the film, especially from Henry, it does make for interesting viewing. The acting from the cast was strong and well done. This supernatural film does have a bit of suspense in it, especially one scene between the possessed Henry and Sarah where it leaves you wondering what is going to happen next. All in all, I found this an interesting film to watch and has spurred me on into finding out more about the real Sarah Winchester. Available to watch on Netflix, give this a go if you're interested in this kind of film.

Winchester Official Trailer

© 2018 Louise Powles


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