WINCHESTER Blu-ray Review
The Winchester Repeating Arms Company was the leading manufacturer of firearms with their lever-action rifle. Sarah Winchester is the widow of William Winchester and resides in San Jose, California. The home that is under constant construction and she doesn’t leave anymore. She lives with her niece and great nephew. In 1906, the company commissions Dr. Eric Price to evaluate the mental state of Sarah to see if she is still fit to maintain her role in the company.
WINCHESTER is a horror film directed by The Spierig Brothers and they have directed films like recent entry in the SAW series, JIGSAW and the vampire movie DAYBREAKERS. This movie is based on the true story of The Winchester legacy and the house that she built which still stands today. It is known as the most haunted house in North America. The characters in the movie are perfectly suited for their roles and the house is practically its own character. It has a nice creepiness that you need in a horror film and practical effects that should never be substituted for CG if you can do it well.
I’m wondering if I was able to sit down to talk to the writers and the directors, would they tell me that they were inspired by Guillermo Del Toro? His ghost stories are typically about the ghost needing to finish something rather than ghosts being there to harm you. Just a thought…
Helen Mirren – Sarah Winchester
Jason Clarke – Eric Price
Sarah Snook – Marian Marriott
Finn Scicluna-O’Prey – Henry Marriott
Angus Sampson – John Hansen
Laura Brent – Ruby Price
Tyler Coppin – Arthur Gates
Eamon Farren – Benjamin Block
The video is a 1080p AVC presentation that has a beautiful look to it. Because of the time period, there is a lot of soft lighting due to the candlelit rooms and lack of electricity. Most of the movie is at night in the darkened house but the blacks are inky and you can see this the most in Helen Mirren’s clothing. The widow’s clothing has some fine details in the lace and the rest seems to flow deeper as it drapes on her body. The colors are not that bold but they get brighter in some of the clothing and eye colors. There are really good details in facial lines as well. The practical effects look amazing and realistic. HD brings out the gore.
The audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that has plenty of scary moments. The surround sound while in the house is constantly in use and makes it practically feel alive. Wood creaks with phantom footsteps and construction in the distance. Also, when a scare moment happens, the sound blasts you to try and maximize the scare. The score has a creepiness that has some really nice tones that work well. The dialogue has been prioritized well with the effects.
SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING
-Driven By The Spirits: The Making of WINCHESTER: This is a really good EPK that has interviews with the cast/crew and talks about the inspiration of the house.
2-disc set w/ 1 Blu-ray and 1 DVD
Slipcover is included in the first pressing
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
THE BOTTOM LINE:
WINCHESTER ended up surprising me in a good way with how everything plays out. The Spierig Brothers know how to create a good horror movie and a thrilling ghost story. The Blu-ray keeps the tonal look needed and a great audio mix that goes with it. There is only one extra but it covers a lot. This is one I highly recommend picking up.