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.
The directors are twins. Dame Mirren likened the experience to having one mind speaking through two mouths. See more »
It is clearly stated in the middle of the film that the mansion's bell is rung only at midnight. Yet the bell inexplicably rings after the occurrence of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, which historically happened at 5:12 AM local time.
After all characters make it out of the mansion, post-earthquake, it is still completely dark outside. Sunrise in San Jose, California on April 18th (the date of the earthquake) occurs around 6:30 AM PDT, which would've been around 5:30 AM in 1906 (prior to the establishment of Daylight Savings Time). The characters gather in front of the mansion, which faces east, so the sun should have been rising already (or at least about to break dawn, depending on how long the story's climax was supposed to have lasted). 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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