Movie Title: Winchester
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 1 hr. and 39 min.
Who did I watch with?: Stephie and Keegan
Where did I watch it?: Showcase Cinemas Route 6 – Seekonk, MA
To be very clear from the beginning of this review, Winchester is not a good movie. It infuriated me in so many ways while I watched it. I am a history teacher with two degrees in the discipline and when a movie can’t even catch on to basic historical accuracy I have a problem. I was completely unaware that the Winchester repeating rifle is the reason the Union won the Civil War or that Confederate uniforms were emblazoned with name tags like modern fatigues. In case you are not familiar, these, especially the former, are wildly inaccurate.
Winchester tells the story of Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren) the heiress of the Winchester Repeating Firearms Company. After the death of her husband, Sarah adopted the belief that her family was haunted by the people killed by Winchester rifles. In order to ward off the demons she began work on expanding her home in San Jose, California. Starting with seven rooms, the building rapidly expanded to over one hundred. The building remained in continuous construction until Sarah Winchester’s death. This is the most interesting part of the story and fairly accurate as well. I was interested in this movie because I have always wanted to go to the Winchester Mystery House, but I haven’t made it yet.
The board members of the company are concerned because of Mrs. Winchester’s peculiar beliefs. They summon Dr. Eric Price (Jason Clarke) to attend to Mrs. Winchester and imply that if they get the verdict they desire he will be rewarded handsomely. The sum of money offered is either very low or very high for the time period depending on how you interpret the conversation. Yet another example of Winchester not doing its homework. After Price arrives he begins experiencing some of the paranormal phenomenon that Mrs. Winchester has been reporting in their interviews. After a time Price comes to believe they are real especially after a twist I should have seen coming, but didn’t. The rest of the plot is fairly straight forward and genre typical.
Winchester is not a good movie, but I liked it anyway. The problem with writing this review is that I can’t really explain why I liked it. None of the individual pieces of the movie were particularly good, but it all worked decently well together. Take it or leave it if it looks interesting to you, but don’t expect a masterpiece.
Tomorrow’s Movie: On Body and Soul (2017)