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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Haunting Of Winchester House(2009)

Wow, I haven't seen a film this hated on since Uwe Boll was putting out 2 movies a year! I usually try to read up a bit on a film I am going to watch, just so I know what I am getting myself into. I saw this movie on Netflix watch instantly and added it to my que, because I am a sucker for Haunted House films. In no way did I think I was getting a Ghost Story, or The Haunting(the original, you fools!), so I went over to IMDB to see what people thought. Holy Hell, I know there are a lot of armchair critics over there that like to give movies a low rating to just to piss people off. But this film had like a 2 rating!! I read through the reviews, the usual complaints.....bad acting....bad effects....stupid story, OK I can handle this.
I think that this generation is just so used to bad CGI effects, that they can't handle a film that doesn't rely on them. I found The Haunting Of Winchester House, to be pretty damned entertaining. Yes, the acting was pretty atrocious, but I have seen far worse. The worst part to me was that the Mother character only looked to be about 10 years older than the daughter character. But I am man who has seen the bottom of the barrel SOV films that make this look like Gone With The Wind. Actually, this film relies heavily on the grand tradition of "old dark house" films of the 40's and 50's. Lots of creepy ghosts flittering in front of the camera, or leering from a darkened corner. Lots of torturous groans and cries, and atmospheric shots of the house. Sure, there are a few scenes of CGI, but not enough to detract from the film. I read online that the DVD version is in 3-D, but I couldn't see any evidence of that from the version that I watched.
The story concerns the Winchester House, of Winchester rifle fame. It seems that the ghosts of victims killed by said rifles haunt this house and it's owner Sarah Winchester. When a thirty-something couple and their daughter move in to be caretakers for the summer, they are haunted by the ghosts of the victims, and the ghosts of the Winchester family. What do the ghost want? What does Sarah want? I didn't find it too predictable at all, and I thought the "twist" ending came out of nowhere and surprised the hell out of me.
In closing, I am not saying that this is a "good" movie technically in any way, or by any standards. But if you like ghosts films, and can handle bad acting, there are worse ways to spend 80 minutes. Hell, this is far better than those 2000's ghost movies like 13 Ghosts, House On Haunted Hill, and The Haunting by a mile!! Check it out if you dare!

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