“Winchester”

A Look at the Movies

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Here’s something you’ve probably never seen before. A ghost story with an anti-gun message.

“Winchester” fires off a lot of blanks trying to scare us with a few visual effects. It’s beneath the great Helen Mirren playing the eccentric heir to the Winchester repeating rifle fortune.

Her claims of seeing ghosts, makes her fair game for skeptical psychiatrist Jason Clarke, who was hired by the board of directors to check out her sanity. Mirren’s convinced her ghosts are victims of the repeating rifle that bears her name.

Straining so hard to be a high class horror film, “Winchester” comes across less intense than some of the cheaper, less classy shockers. Mirren holds up her end of the bargain, delightfully seeing spirits at every corner of her weird mansion.

The more “Winchester” tries remaining a classy chiller, the less effective the movie becomes as a horror film. Mirren gives “Winchester” some class, but her presence only makes you wonder what an actress of her stature is doing in such ghostly surroundings?

If Masterpiece theater ever lowered its standards with a snooty ghost story, “Winchester” would immediately fill the bill. Even Helen Mirren wearing a shroud can do little to levitate “Winchester” beyond its mediocre 2 stars.

You’ll probably come away preferring re-runs of “The Amityville Horror”.

Rated PG-13

1 hour 40 minutes

Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Sarah Snook