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‘Winchester’ Offers Engrossing, Eerie Viewing

Helen Mirren Stars in Story of the Infamous “Mystery House”


Engrossing and eerie, the Spierig Brothers’ Winchester (2018) brings the mystery of the haunted San Jose estate to the silver screen. The film following charismatic Dr. Eric Price (Jason Clark, Zero Dark Thirty), hired in 1906 to psychologically evaluate the grief- and-guilt- ridden matriarch of the Winchester Repeating Arms Co., Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), as the ghostly tales of the perpetually remodeled, seven-story mansion become all too real. Although it includes some true events, such as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and its effects on the estate, the film invents the ghosts encountered and the character Dr. Price as a means to explore the urban legend claiming that the continuous work Sarah had done on the mansion until her death in 1922 was to appease the spirits of those killed by Winchester rifles. The movie was filmed on location in the maze-like Victorian mansion that boasts doors opening to brick walls and staircases leading to dead ends. This curiosity-capturing ghost story keeps growing just like the mysterious house at the center of it all.

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