I knew the basic premise of this movie going into it...which means I was nervous. (Follow us on Instagram to see my nervous face - thebigandthesmallblog) Y'all, I get scared really easily. The number of times Joel has accidentally scared me while walking around our own house is ridiculous. So you can imagine what I am like at any movie that is even remotely scary. I pretty much have to watch with my fingers over my face, or risk screaming loudly at every jump scare. This movie was no exception.
The story focuses on Sarah Winchester, the heiress and current head of the Winchester Repeating Arms company. The legal team has brought in a doctor to assess her mental state, in the hopes of removing her from her position. She certainly seems to have some issues - a construction team works around the clock adding rooms to her house - rooms based on vision she receives from spirits. She believes she is haunted by the spirits of everyone ever killed by a Winchester rifle.
The doctor who comes to assess her has some issues as well, stemming from his own traumatic past. In the house he learns more about the mysterious goings on, and builds a relationship with the eccentric Ms. Winchester. The movie was sufficiently creepy, and at times I had to sing ABBA songs in my head so as not to be too scared (the mark of a real scary movie for me, haha). But I was sufficiently intrigued by the story not want to completely check out so as not to be scared, the mark of a good scary movie for me.
I think more could have been done to explore this idea of feeling responsible for profiting from a murder weapon - and could have dovetailed well into conversations society is having (or needs to have) today. But perhaps in order to avoid the clear political implications that could have come from this, the movie stayed focus on the haunted mansion aspect. If you like scary movies, I think it's worth seeing!