There are rules one must abide by in order to successfully know if you are watching a shitty horror movie:
- I am about to fall asleep at least three times and I’m “ass out to pass out” (this means you are side ways in your chair)
- My horror film buddy Kim can actually manage to predict what is going to happen before it happens.
- 1 or less jump scares
- You start comparing characters in the film to people you know in real life out of boredom.
- You laugh almost throughout the entire thing.
All of those happened with WINCHESTER, one of the worst horror films ever made and my first contender for worst film of 2018 (will probably be beat by Fifty Shades Freed) and will definitely be on my worst ten by the end of the year. Throughout the film I kept asking myself, why is Helen Mirren in this? I quickly asked that about Jason Clarke, but quickly answered that question by saying he is an actually underrated actor just trying to get known, and he is the only one actually doing any acting in this film.
Helen Mirren is terrible in this. It screams paycheck, paycheck, paycheck throughout all the “haunted” walls within this haunted house. She isn’t in it much at the beginning, and is in only two rooms for most of the middle with a tiny bit of venturing out near the end. But yeah, her shooting schedule was probably short and tight. Jason Clarke and Sarah Snook seem to be the only ones trying to do a decent job with the crap screenplay they were dealt. Snook probably because she did a great job with The Spierig Brothers other pretty decent film Predestination. I am willing to forgive The Spierig Brothers because this is their first true misfire. I really like their film Daybreakers, Predestination was solid, and Jigsaw…well, you know my love for the Saw series if you read my review in October.
This movie felt…rushed. Everything about it, the script, the story, the plot, the camera work, the fake CGI outside shots of the house, all felt rushed to a studio schedule that no one wanted. I feel that if the Spierig brothers were given their true due, more time with everything, especially the script, and a bigger budget, they could’ve had something. Something tells me that they got Helen Mirren before a script was even completely and they had a certain amount of time with her and the studio said, “this movie revolves around her.” Which you can’t do that. Your product gets muddled and no one will appreciate it.
I mean, come on, this is a true story about a true haunted house (depending on what your beliefs are). We were given films based on true haunting stores (like The Conjuring series) and those turned out fantastic. What went wrong here? Was it the fact that instead of doing multiple stories about the room and the spirits that are trapped inside and then rebuild the house when it becomes damaged, they instead just focused on one story, trying to tie it all in a bow with our main protagonist (Clarke)? That one story wasn’t even all that damn interesting. The movie starts very cliched with the board of the Winchester rifle company sending a doctor to evaluate Sarah Winchester to deem her insane so they can take control (A Cure For Wellness anyone?) and instead of having the audacity to bring anything cool and interesting to the mix we are dealt one ghost story about a demon that has a hatred for Winchester rifles and what they did to his brothers and brothers in arms? I could’ve slept soundly inside this house in the middle of all the chaos because it was a complete snooze fest of a scenario.
It was just bad. I said in a Facebook post that my fat face is scarier than this film and I stand right by that comment. This film isn’t scary at all. Oh, you didn’t think IT was all that scary? Try putting in this film, you’ll be screaming for the new Pennywise in about 10 minutes into this. Why oh why do we get all these cool story concepts but the execution is just fucking pitiful? I’d rather watch a documentary on this house, anybody have any suggestions?