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Movie Review

'Winchester'

Movie Review... Winchester

Okay, I think a small intro might be needed. Hiya my name is Raven Starr and I’m happy to be here. I’m not going to go into too much 'cause who really wants that, right?

For my very first post I would like to give a movie review of a horror flick I’ve recently seen. Now I must add that I am an avid movie watcher. I can remember during the summers my best friend and I would rent as many movies we could and watch movies all weekend—if you wanted to find us either look in the arcade or my house in the dark scaring the total heck outta ourselves. It’s something about me that hasn’t really changed except I don’t have a VCR anymore. Ha. Even though horror is my all-time favorite, I watch just about everything. I wanted to be a movie critic so here’s my shot, I guess.

So, let’s move right into the review. The movie is Winchester with the wonderfully talented Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke (from movies like Terminator Genisys 2015, Zero Dark Thirty 2012), and Sarah Snook (from movies like Jessabelle 2014, Not Suitable for Children 2012, with the very sexy Ryan Kwanten Jason from True Blood.)

The movie is listed not as a horror but thriller and I have to say it thrilled me to death. Spine tingling, spooky fun from the beginning to the end.

If you’re not sure about the Winchester House in San Jose, California is a real place built by Sarah Winchester in penitence for all the deaths caused by the Winchester repeating rifle. The Winchester is set on a sprawling 6-acre lot.

Now the story goes that after the death of her husband in 1881 and her daughter, Anne, passed away from a wasting disease I’m pretty sure with her burden of sorrow for their losses, she was told by a medium at the time who said she was in touch with her dead husband. In that reading, Sarah was told to leave her home in the East and travel West. Without any doubt Sarah left and purchased the farmhouse in 1884 and over the next 38 years the building of the farmhouse into what stands today was a constant babble of hammering. How anyone could stand it I don’t know.

This movie encapsulates the sorrow Sarah must have felt roaming through the endless halls. Helen was perfect for this role. Even though I am quite fond of Helen I wouldn’t be gushing over her performance if it was anything but stellar. You’ll come find when I watch a movie I grade it whether I am fond of the actor/actress or not.

And I liked Jason Clarke as the unbelieving doctor with his own demons. When he sees the huge manor, he is more than taken aback by its size. The film is dark not just in the storytelling but the cinemaphotography is almost dark and it just gets you in the mood. I’ve watched this movie twice because yes, it is that good. But the second time I put on my headphones and wow it was like watching the movie in a new light. From the scratching and whispers, I would recommend either a good stereo system or just throw on a pair of headphones. Worked for me.

And Sarah Snook’s character was good as Sarah Winchester’s niece but wait 'til you see her spooky son. He did really good as well. I can’t really find fault with this movie.

I’m pretty old school where acting is way more important than fake graphics and all CGI. I like those too but if the background doesn’t feel real then there is a bit of disconnect because the audience can tell it's fake and the whole part about being afraid of something is it has to be believable. This is not the first time I’ve seen something about Winchester—even Stephen King did a really good adaption called Rose Red released in 2002. And you have to give that a go too. Honestly, now that I’ve seen both the mini-series, Rose Red makes more sense with the Anne character.

This movie contains jump scares and a twisted little way to make sure you stay just scared enough. So I hope I’ve enticed you enough to sit down, turn your phone off, make some popcorn, and have a spooky good time.

Winchester. 5 stars

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