Flash Movie Review: Winchester

THERE IS NOTHING TO BE said when a friend has made up their mind unless they asked for your opinion. Realistically though how many of your friends would listen and act on your advice anyway? You may see the perils your friend could face by their decision and try as you might they feel the decision they are making is the right one. So be it. All you really can do is be there to support them if things do not go as they had envisioned. A friend of mine told me about their plan to consolidate all of their bills into one loan, using one of those check advances that accompany their monthly charge card statement. I did not think it was a good idea because I witnessed how they handled their finances and had seen them do this very same thing before. Because they asked me what I thought about their plan I had to tell them and bring up the fact the last time they took a cash advance they kept using their charge cards, incurring debt with finance charges. They claimed that it would not be the case this time but I knew better.     MY DILEMMA TAKES PLACE when a friend asks me how they look. I do not have a problem telling them they have food stuck between their teeth or their hair got windblown; however, if they want my opinion about what they are wearing how can I critique their outfit if they are the one who purchased it for themselves in the first place. If I think the clothing looks good on them I will let them know my feelings. But if the item of clothing does nothing for them or worse is unflattering, I do not want to just come out with saying it is ugly or unflattering. I prefer to say, “It doesn’t matter what I think, it is what you think.” You see what it comes down to is if an individual can get some type of pleasure from wearing a particular item of clothing, it should not matter what other people think about it. I have no reason to burst their bubble or make them uncomfortable with their fashion decision. This is why I had a tough go in writing today’s film review. I was sad to see one of my favorite actors in this picture, based on true events.     SARAH WINCHESTER, PLAYED BY Helen Mirren (The Queen, Eye in the Sky), upon the death of her husband was left with controlling interest in her late husband’s arms company. The board of directors felt they found a way to eliminate her and stop the spending on the continuous remodeling of her residence. It was up to Dr. Eric Price, played by Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty, Everest), to make a determination. This biographical, fantasy horror film also starred Sarah Snook (The Dressmaker, Steve Jobs) as Sarah’s niece, Eamon Farren (Red Dog, Chained) as Ben Block and Finn Scicluna-O’Prey (The Secret River-TV, Rosehaven-TV) as Henry. I was distraught watching Helen in this poorly done film. Though I enjoyed her performance, the script was so generic and there was no reason for it. The story was fascinating; it was something I wish the writers would have delved into more. Instead we got this horror film with the only trick to scare the audience being the use of the jump scare, something suddenly appearing in the frame. The music did not help either since it telegraphed the upcoming action. Oh and I did not want to forget Jason’s character mumbling through the movie and always jumping back in fear. I cannot comprehend Helen being a part of this mess and wonder why no one told her to rethink her choice of films, unless she was repaying someone a favor.


1 ½ stars




About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on February 5, 2018, in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Thanks for saving me on this one…I would have probably gone to see Helen Mirren, but now I think I’ll pass!

  2. I haven’t seen this film, and though I love Helen Mirren, probably won’t. I grew up in what is now referred to as Silicon Valley (have always loathed that moniker), and visited the Winchester Mystery House a few times as a teen and young adult. The house has long been surrounded by shopping centers and a large movie theater complex, and I distinctly remember coming out of a nearby theater on a dark, gloomy day after seeing ‘The Exorcist,’ and thinking how eerie the house looked at that moment. That said, the house was sprawling and odd, but not at all scary, even though billboards advertising the attraction always included an ominous skull!

    I agree with your assessment that Mirren’s talents are wasted, and would have been better served by a script that delved more into her life and her own eccentricities that led her to embark on her crazy home expansion obsession, instead of trying to create a horror story where one never existed to begin with.

    • Thank you so much for your comments. I cannot believe the house is surrounded by shopping centers and a movie theater complex; how weird.

      Since you have been to the actual house there is even less reason you should go see this film. Thanks again for the comments.

  3. I really loved it, but wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all agreed on everything…

  4. The actual story sounds very fascinating and intriguing and it sounds as if a more straight retelling of that narrative would have made for a more successful film had they avoided the horror tropes.

  5. Perhaps Helen Mirren saw something in the script that intrigued her?

  6. Ouch! That’s a shame. Seems like an interesting foundation. Sounds like they squandered it.

  7. So, I take it, the board of directors was behind the phantasm?

  8. Love this review. Nice to read someone who knows what they are talking about. I did a little review of 10 films which may help photographers https://thestreetphotographersguide.blog/2018/02/06/the-10-greatest-films-for-a-budding-photographer/

  9. That’s my family she’s portraying. Easy does it.

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