• 10 Mar - 16 Mar, 2018
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

Winchester, the new horror movie making rounds in the cinema circuit, has Helen Mirren as the lady in black who constantly remodels her mansion. Her reason is simple: she does it to keep bad spirit locked in, and good ones to cross over.

Based on real people and a real haunted house, the Winchester house is situated in San Jose and is famous for its ghost story. For the screen that story is heavily adapted, with added myths and masala.

Beginning in early 1900s, the Winchester family are renowned for making Winchester rifles, and having tragic deaths in the family. The surviving heiress is Sarah Winchester (Mirren), a widow and owner of Winchester rifles, who is guided by a clairvoyant to constantly remodel the house to control the paranormal activity. These are not normal extensions to the house; there are doors built to open in empty spaces, and doors in the cupboards and other architectural anomalies designed to confuse both ghosts and visitors.

Sarah believes her family is cursed for making and selling Winchester rifles that have led to deaths through its use. Spirits of those who died from these guns haunt the Winchester family. Besides being weird, Sarah can also communicate with spirits.

The rifle company’s executive is nervous at the old lady’s eccentric life style, and calls in a depressed and drug-dependent doctor (Jason Clarke) to check if the lady is cuckoo or not.

Directors and co-writers Spierig brothers (with writer Tom Vaughan), play Winchester as an exercise in going around in circles. We hear the same expositions over and over, and then aimlessly move around some more in the same rooms till the end of movie. It’s a drab, gloomy and completely scare-less waste of the cast’s talent and audience’s time. •