Helen Mirren lives in a very haunted mansion in the trailer for the supernatural horror film Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built. The film itself was inspired by the life of American heiress Sarah Winchester, who inherited a vast fortunate after the passing of her husband William Wirt Winchester; the treasurer of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company for a good chunk of the 19th century. Following the death of her husband, Mrs. Winchester spent most of the rest of her life (more than forty years) building the Winchester mansion in what is now San Jose, California.
The House That Ghosts Built plays on one of the legends about Sarah Winchester (played by Mirren) - that she expanded her enormous manor to stand seven stories tall and encompass hundreds of rooms, as a prison for the vengeful ghosts of people that were killed by Winchester firearms. Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Terminator Genisys) costars in the film as Dr. Eric Price, who is summoned to the Winchester mansion under the belief that Mrs. Winchester is a disturbed widow who has descended into madness. However, as Dr. Price spends more time in the manor, he begins to wonder if the Lady Winchester isn't so insane after all.
Lionsgate and CBS Films have released the first official trailer for Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built (see the video above), which takes viewers on a quick tour around the twisted interiors of the eponymous mansion; one that includes extremely winding hallways, as well as staircases that lead (seemingly) nowhere. This being a horror film and all, the trailer also includes a handful of jump-scare moments and spooky moments to help sell the whole thing, in combination with the promise of a haunted performance from Dame Mirren herself. You can also check out the poster for the film, below.
The trailer for Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built brings to mind CBS Films' The Woman in Black novel adaptation from 2012. Similar to that Daniel Radcliffe-led film, The House That Ghosts Built is a period piece that makes heavy use of a scary central set piece and explores themes about grief and loss through the lens of a spooky ghost story. Mirren's involvement further lends an air of respectability to the proceedings here, with the trailer promising a performance from her that's as refined and nuanced as her previous work on more ground historical dramas like Gosford Park, The Queen, and so forth.
Serving as the writers/directors on The House That Ghosts Built are brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, who previously helmed the sci-fi/vampire flick Daybreakers, the time-travel thriller Predestination, and this Friday's Saw franchise reboot/sequel, Jigsaw. So far, the Spierig brothers' genre films have been well-received by most critics, but struggled to break out commercially. The House That Ghosts Built may give the filmmakers another interesting addition to their growing body of work, as they try their hands at a different subset of the horror genre altogether.
The House That Ghosts Built might have less luck at the box office by comparison. It's set to open in theaters against God Particle aka. Cloverfield 3, a genre movie that will be aiming to draw in many of the same filmgoers as The House That Ghosts Built will. On the other hand, the pair don't completely overlap with one another in terms of their demographic appeal (God Particle is more sci-fi/thriller that horror, by the sound of it), so there may yet be room for both to find a sizable audience over their opening weekend.
Source: Lionsgate & CBS Films
- Winchester (2018) release date: Feb 02, 2018