This past weekend saw the cinema release of Winchester, the latest big screen spook-tacular from studio Lionsgate. Given that the film arrives in the wake of what is widely agreed to have been a major renaissance year for horror, and stars Oscar-winning screen legend Helen Mirren in the lead, audiences could be forgiven for expecting something more than your average haunted house flick.

Sadly, despite the high calibre casting and the fascinating location of the Winchester Mystery House (a real place which stands to this day), Winchester turns out to be little more than your standard, by the numbers ghost movie… of which, it must be said, we’ve seen quite enough in recent years.

Clearly audiences have had a taste for such material in recent years, given the huge success of the Paranormal Activity, Insidious and (above all in terms of box office) The Conjuring franchises; but isn’t the routine getting a bit stale by now?

This creeping tedium is unfortunate, as ghosts have always been fantastic subject matter for fiction – and have, on occasion, given us some of the most striking and memorable horror films of all time.

Some films are guaranteed to come back to haunt you anytime you hear something go bump in the night.

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