Movie Mixtape: 6 Movies to Watch with ‘Winchester’

Movies to Watch with Winchester

(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: Winchester.)

When you live in the Bay Area, you’re bombarded by flashy signs (and bumper stickers, oh, the bumper stickers) advertising the Winchester Mystery House. It’s a super strange house in San Jose, California, with bizarre architecture that features stairs to nowhere and doors that open to two-story drops. Now, there’s a movie about it.

Or, really, there’s a movie that places it and former owner, Sarah Winchester, in the middle of a ghost story. Winchester, the real-life heiress to her husband’s rifle fortune, used her massive wealth to continue construction on the mansion every day for 38 years, with (unsubstantiated) rumors circulating that she was doing so at the behest of a Boston medium who told her she was being haunted by the souls of Winchester rifle victims.

It’s that rumor that writer/directors the Spierig Brothers and screenwriter Tom Vaughan have used as the basis for Winchester, a tale about a psychologist named Eric Price (Jason Clarke) meeting with Winchester (Helen Mirren) to determine her sanity when, you guessed it, the ghosts she’s trying to keep at bay get angry.

Let’s look at some movies to watch with Mirren’s ghost mob.

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winchester trailer

As someone with an unhealthy addiction to Travel Channel specials on America’s most famous haunted houses, I’ve been wondering for ages when someone would get around to making a movie based on the legend of the Winchester mansion. And here we are.

Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built takes one of the more intriguing ghost stories of the past century or so and builds it into a movie. It certainly helps that the great Helen Mirren, who seems to be discovering a Liam Neeson-esque love for genre fare at this stage of her career, is front-and-center as Sarah Winchester, the eccentric owner of a very famous “haunted” residence.

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