February is starting to look pretty scary, particularly with Winchester being the first big film of the month. Sure, we've seen a lot of horror films try to make their bones in this former dumping ground month, but as time has gone on, the level of sophistication for these films has been raised. Let's face it, it's not every day you get Dame Helen Mirren to star in a horror movie. So that's a pretty Academy Award winning reason that this film has a leg up on its contemporaries.
However, there is a troubling aspect to Winchester's current efforts to become the next horror hit: it hasn't been screened for critics. Now that's not always a sign of failure in a film's content, but it's always a bit worrying when a studio doesn't show its new theatrical release for the critics ahead of time. The early Rotten Tomatoes score i disappointing, and our own Eric Eisenberg paid to see it Thursday night and left unimpressed. That could change over time though, so we'll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, you brave audience members who have seen Winchester (which mysteriously ghosted its previous subtitle, The House That Ghosts Built) have some questions to answer. After seeing the film, feel free to answer the following in the comments below:
Questions aside, it's time to rate Winchester, on a scale of 0 to 5 -- 0 being total ectoplasmic goop, and 5 being a ripping yarn from the great beyond.
How Many Stars Would You Give Winchester?
Now we probably don't have to say this, but in the interest of paying tribute to the Supernatural fandom out there, we'd like to remind you that no, this isn't a film about the Winchester brothers. That's a ghost of a different spectral plain. However, this film is based on true stories that have surrounded the Winchester estate, and we got to actually see the house itself in San Jose, California! Even better, we spoke with Winchester's directors, The Spierig Brothers, about the real life background to the film's events. You can see for yourself, in the video below.
Unlike the house in Winchester, we can't build this up forever. So we'll leave you fine folks to rate and discuss this latest horror offering. If you want to learn more about Winchester, check out our coverage of the film on its preview page. For now though, it's time to disappear once more, only to return next week with another edition of Rate and Discuss. But if you want to see what else February has in store, take a look at our list of big movies coming to theaters throughout the month!