terror is building
Reviews have been unkind to this film. Currently, it is sitting at a massive 9% on rotten tomatoes. So now I am going to go on a short rant about why aggregate scores are both great and shit. First, they are awesome as it takes the opinions of a bunch of people and gives you a decent average. This, typically, would be more “accurate” than taking just one person’s opinion.
On the other hand, the reviews are not weighted, in that they are either deemed good or bad. Which means that a movie with 9% may be considered by 91% of critics to be the worst thing ever, or it might mean that they think it was just shy of being good. No matter how bad someone thought it was, it is completely bad within an aggregate score.
So, is Winchester good? – not really. Is it as bad as all that? – absolutely not.
The story revolves around the Winchester family. Those folks that made a bunch of money on a bunch of famous rifles. Anyway, Helen Mirren plays Sarah, the current controlling stockholder in the company. Eric Price, Jason Clarke, is hired by the company to assess her sanity. It’s in question because she bought an 8 room house and won’t stop building on it. Now at 100 rooms or more with no rhyme or reason.
This is inspired by a true story…which other critics have pointed out is bullshit. People need to remember that “inspired by actual events” is a great deal different than “based on a true story”. The latter implies accuracy while the former can be literally anything. The character of Sarah is real and the house is real. As far as ghosts go, who the fuck knows?
The location is the star here but woefully underused. There was a great opportunity to play up the craziness of this house, but we tend to only see a few rooms. However, what I did see of the place, I marveled at. I’ve always been fascinated by the house. Likewise, Helen Mirren is underused as well. I feel as if her talks with the doctor on sanity, or lack thereof, could have been very interesting, but the writer didn’t pull that off. Instead, it is just a time filler.
The story does devolve into a simple haunted house story and that is a shame. This story could be used to an amazing degree if put in the right hands. In fact, it has. Robert R McCammon (the great) used the entire idea of the Winchester family and house as the bases for his sequel to The Fall of the House of Usher. The book is called Usher’s Passing. Click here, Ushers Passing by McCammon, Robert [Gallery Books,2010] (Paperback) to get a copy. You will absolutely not regret it.
This movie most likely won’t scare you, and the creepy vibe that should have easily been implemented, is nonexistent, though, with all that, I didn’t hate the movie. It was still fun to watch regardless of all of the above. I hope in the future that someone with more magical fingers tries this again.
The biggest thing that this film did for me, and I have actually been thinking about this, but I am going to switch to a 10-star system. It allows me to give more nuance to what I think a movie should get. This means I have to go make new graphics, so fucking damnit.
Ok, there it is. What do you think? Tell me if you hate it.