A mother of two who inherits a house is confronted with murderous intruders on the first night in their new home and fights for her daughters' lives. Sixteen years later when the daughters reunite at the house, things get really strange.
Inspired by true events. On an isolated stretch of land 50 miles outside of San Francisco sits the most haunted house in the world. Built by Sarah Winchester, (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren) heiress to the Winchester fortune, it is a house that knows no end. Constructed in an incessant twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week mania for decades, it stands seven stories tall and contains hundreds of rooms. To the outsider it looks like a monstrous monument to a disturbed woman's madness. But Sarah is not building for herself, for her niece (Sarah Snook) or for the brilliant Doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke) whom she has summoned to the house. She is building a prison, an asylum for hundreds of vengeful ghosts, and the most terrifying among them have a score to settle with the Winchesters.
Sarah Winchester and her house are given their own chapter discussion in "Ghostland: an American history in haunted places" written by Colin Dickey in 2016. Historically, Sarah Winchester was living in a time that was uncommon and unusual for women to pursue architecture. She was never licensed. Instead, she practiced and experimented on her own house. When one project would prove to not work out or she would lose interest a new project would be started. Even the projects that were completed will have an off-kilter appearance due to space constraints. It is easier to continue building and expanding the size of various parts of the house and within the house than to tear it out to start over. See more »
When the front of the mansion is shown, CGI is used to depict the 7-story tower that existed on the mansion in 1906, and the colors of the mansion are changed from their current (2018) colors, yet the final (1922) configuration of the mansion's main facade is shown. In 1906, the facade was quite different, as construction between 1906 and 1922 changed the mansion drastically.
When overhead shots of the mansion rooftops are shown, the current (2018) colors are visible, and there is no sign of the 7-story tower (it was torn down after the 1906 earthquake) even though the spot where it should protrude is shown several times. See more »
While I did like a little bit of the film, the story of Ms. Winchester was just so inaccurate. (Skip to paragraph 2 if you don't care about accuracy) I live less than 20 miles from the Winchester house and have been there multiple times and know the story. First of all, she wasn't building the house to protect herself from attacking spirits, she was building it out of guilt to help the spirits she supposedly communicated with, and while the film briefly touches on that, the majority is her building the house to protect from evil spirits, which is untrue, it was guilt and she was building it to serve as a home to spirits . She also wasn't an ominous and foreboding old woman who always wore black in a haunted house, by all accounts she was a normal and social woman who held many community events and parties at her house. But besides that the film was hit an miss, some good scares and atmosphere, and some not so good.
Helen Mirren did an alright job with her role and the rest of the actors were also very average. The atmosphere was well done, but good direction is not needed because the house itself is beautiful and mysterious. The scares are hit and miss, out of about 12, only 2 got me, but I'm a horror veteran, a group of teenage girls however screamed multiple times. Some scares work because of the accented atmosphere, but some are pretty lame and predictable, making the film an average chiller with noting very special. Over all the film is just another average effort for a Hollywood horror film that does not shine like other better films.
I would not recommend this to horror veterans.
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