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MOVIE REVIEW

Winchester: The House that Ghosts Built also known as “La maldición de la casa Winchester,” “A Maldição da Casa Winchester,” “La vedova Winchester,” “Szellemek háza,” “Winchester - House of Ghosts,” “Winchester Mystery House,” “Winchester. Dom duchów,” “Winchester: Das Haus der Verdammten,” “Winchester: House of Ghosts,” “Winchester: La casa que construyeron los espíritus,” “Winchester: Sídlo démonů”

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for violence, disturbing images, drug content, some sexual material and thematic elements.

Reviewed by: Pamela Karpelenia
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Supernatural Horror Fantasy
Length:
1 hr. 39 min.
Year of Release:
2018
USA Release:
February 2, 2018 (wide release)
Copyright, CBS Films click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, CBS Films Copyright, CBS Films
Relevant Issues
Copyright, CBS Films

ghosts in the Bible

death

final judgment

Who is SATAN, the enemy of God and all people? Answer

Is Satan A REAL PERSON that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

SATAN’S STRATEGY—What is one of Satan’s most successful strategies in dealing with followers of Christ? Answer

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

Copyright, CBS Films Copyright, CBS Films Copyright, CBS Films Copyright, CBS Films Copyright, CBS Films Copyright, CBS Films
Featuring: Helen MirrenSarah Winchester
Jason ClarkeEric Price
Sarah Snook …
Angus Sampson …
Eamon Farren … Ben Block
Laura Brent … Ruby
Tyler Coppin … Arthur Gates
Emm Wiseman … Nancy Miller
Thor Carlsson … Tormented Cowboy
Jeffrey W. Jenkins … Footman
Dawayne Jordan … Butler / Carpenter
Xavier Gouault … Policeman-Ghost
Alice Chaston … Clara
See all »
Director: Michael Spierig
Peter Spierig
Producer: Tim McGahan
Brett Tomberlin
Blacklab Entertainment [Australia]
Imagination Design Works
Distributor: CBS Films

Fear is all in your head

Copyrighted, CBS Films

“Winchester” is a highly imaginative retelling of the story of Sarah Winchester, the widow of world famous gun manufacturer William Winchester. Upon his death Sarah (Helen Mirren), inherits a vast sum of money and a controlling share of her late husband’s firearm company. In the movie, she visits a medium to help her get over her grief following the death of her child and husband. After seeing the medium, she proceeds to build up her house with dozens of rooms and hallways. She does this to hold the spirits of the those who have been killed by the Winchester rifle.

ghosts in the Bible

This erratic behavior troubles the other shareholders of the Winchester manufacturing company. The members enlist the help of a professional psychological evaluator in hopes of getting her declared insane and unfit to run the company. We are introduced to Eric Price (Jason Clarke), a man with a tragic and sordid past. He agrees to take the job and soon comes to the Winchester mansion.

That’s the set up and opening of this intricate concoction of fiction mixed with bits of truth. Let’s start with the plot… Impressive! From the back story to the introduction of characters to the climax, rock solid. Now on to the acting, outstanding very well cast and authentic. However, it must be said that the writers took many liberties with the story.

Objectionable content

There is an abundance of content of concern. The film is about the Winchester rifle, so gun violence is portrayed in detail. Eric Price’s character is shown to be addicted to a poisonous drug called Laudanum (opium and alcohol), and he uses it in the beginning of the film. He is also addicted to alcohol and to sex with many women. Prostitute women are shown, although not overtly.

The entire storyline line centers around spirits lingering after death and Sarah Winchester’s supposed obsession with keeping them caged in her house due to her alleged guilt and remorse. The fantasy of ghosts is wholly unbiblical and Sarah’s beliefs and motivations are mostly false based on historical records. Some sort of demonic possession is also depicted frequently. A child becomes possessed by an insidious spirit. Sarah Winchester’s character herself is shown being possessed, and she almost welcomes it, as she feels that she is the only one that can control the spirits that haunt her.

The Word of God clearly states in Hebrews 9:27

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

What are DEVILS and DEMONS in the Bible

This contradicts the film’s premise and its false beliefs about the afterlife. These false ideas may lead viewers astray and cause some to doubt the Word of God. We are called to be Salt and Light and to spread the truth about what happens on the day of final judgment and how one can be saved through repentance and surrending their life to Jesus Christ, and following him as Lord and Savior.

This movie is generally well produced with an interesting story, amazing visuals, costumes and character development. However, it vears very far from reality when it comes to Sarah Winchester’s true life and so far from truth when it comes to a Biblical worldview. I encourage readers to look up the true story of Sarah Winchester. Though not a Christian, she was also not as portrayed in this film. Christian should be wary of this film’s premise and ideas and should not be fooled by what this film tries to pass off as truth.

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate—“J*sus,” “My G*d,” “Oh G*d,” “d*mn”
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Minor
  • Nudity: Moderate
  • Sex: Moderate—• 3 prostitutes seen with man in open robe • Topless prostitute (back to camera) • Kisses

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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Secular Movie Critics
…Although it isn’t a top-flight horror movie—too slow for thrill-chasers, too ridiculously fictionalized for historians—the film serves as a proper 99-minute commercial for that San Jose tourist spot. …
Peter Hartlaub, san Francisco Chronicle
…a loopy gothic thriller about (wait for it) gun violence… “Winchester” is the supernatural-schlock version of a liberal think-tank paper. …Sarah may not be crazy, but the film seems slightly nuts. …
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
…kinda boring… a standard haunted house genre movie that fails to leave a strong impression, good or bad…
Sandy Schaefer, ScreenRant
…Helen Mirren horror movie “Winchester” takes a shot at guns and ghosts. It misses… a musty mediocrity…
Micah Mertes, World-Herald
…The Spierigs are content to trade in cheap shocks to convince us to jump out of seats in between yawns and impatient glances at watches. In 99 minutes, I shuddered once. A disappointingly poor investment. …
Callum Main, Evening Express
…Winchester’s execution is disappointingly shaky. …cheap and loud jump-scares, while rote horror clichés are indulged too heavily—self-rocking chairs, a creepy kid with a dodgy haircut, and blood-dripping paintings are all present and accounted for. …
Ben Travis, Empire
…Helen Mirren looks bored, and with good reason… no cliché left unturned in this one…
Jason Solomons, The Wrap
…The first major movie disappointment of 2018. …
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
…Mirren always brings a touch of class, of course, even to deluxe schlock like this. But Clarke is something of a blank leading man while the secondary characters are mostly pale phantoms sleepwalking through a thinly drawn plot. …
Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter