Winchester REVIEW

Winchester (2018)
CBS Films

Directed by: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Written by: Tom Vaughn, Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig
Starring: Helen Mirren, Sarah Snook, Finn Scicluna-O’Perry, Jason Clarke, Emm Wiseman, Alana Fagan, Rebecca Makar, Tyler Coppin

Back in February, I posted my Top 5 most anticipated movies for 2018. Winchester broke into that list at number 4. I admit, I tussled back and forth over other worthy competitors, but in the end, decided Winchester had all the elements to be something special.

I arrived at the theatre at 1 pm. I was alone and walked up to the ticket counter with purpose. The guy selling tickets picked up on my exuberance as he firmly handed me my itinerary. I accepted with a nod. The girl making popcorn gave me a quick wink. I am certain she knew what movie I was about to see. I imagine she wished she was in possession of what is now mine for the next couple of hours. I smiled briefly, then slid the ticket into my shirt pocket. As I strolled by her, she looked me up and down and undoubtedly noticed my Armani shirt and Dockers Khaki pants. She could tell I was here on business.

As I meandered through the isles, I imagined Winchester purging an innate docket of fear in my mind, sending me spiraling out of control while I plunged deep into my own insecurities. However, I am a realistic guy so I also entertained at Winchester’s worse, it could be the typical horror movie with cheap gags and pop up ghosts. Neither would surprise me and both would have been acceptable.

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I allowed my imagination to carry off on its own about all the wonders I was going to witness once I took my seat. I finally have a few hours to myself, I mused. I suddenly swelled with pride as I thought about all the poor unfortunate people who were stuck at work as I joyfully sipped my cherry coke.

About 30 minutes in, I began to realize this movie was not exactly what I expected. I shook this off and remained confident. But, the further into the movie I got, the more I realized my suspicions were correct.

I wanted to run out of the theatre clawing at my face shouting to the heavens, ‘What is happening! This isn’t how I pictured Winchester playing out!’ Instead, I took the more sensible and rational approach. I took a bite of popcorn, scoffed at my pessimistic nature and slowly sank further into my seat.

By the end of the movie, my thoughts were twisted into a knot. I briefly looked around. I wanted to know if anyone in the theatre noticed the grotesque and contorted look of horror on my face.

Listen, I assume it would have been challenging to write a horror movie involving a gun maker and not offend someone. I realized this when I made Winchester my #4 anticipated movie for 2018. But for me, that was the excitement in it. I was confident the creative team could have pulled it off with some, well, thought and sophisticated writing.

In truth, Sarah Winchester was a Rosicrucian and a Freemason. Her unique mansion was filled with Rosicrucian and Freemason symbols. She also was a fan of numbers and built her mansion as an elaborate puzzle to answer the biggest question not addressed in the movie, ‘why did Sarah Winchester build such a perplexing house?’ She also was largely influenced by Sir Francis Bacon. Now those facts alone could have been a wonderful start to the movie!

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I feel they tried to stick to the traditional folklore of Sarah Winchester but got lost trying to weld her conscience with legend. In the end, they lost the most important elements of the story. They just complicated things way to much.

As the credits rolled, I adjusted the collar of my shirt and I slowly rose to my feet. I wanted to shake my fist at the screen and let out a shriek of disappointment. Yet, I relented.

Just as I was about to step out of the movie theatre, a black and white photograph of Sarah in her automobile appeared on the big screen. Still disappointed, I studied the photograph for a little bit. “This could have been so much more,” I said in a soft but bitter tone, then walked out of sight.

Those are my feelings about the movie Winchester! As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. After all, it’s your input that matters the most! I am artistcnick78 on twitter or you can respond in the comments below! (I am currently saving my money for an Armani shirt.) Thanks!

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