The day before Winchester‘s release in theatres, a short behind-the-scenes featurette for the film was released.
The featurette is called “Anatomy of a Scare” and runs just over a minute. It opens with a clip from the film: a shot showing the front of the house that transitions to Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), the owner of a sprawling mansion that was built to confuse vengeful spirits, talking to Doctor Eric Price (Jason Clarke), a skeptic to the supernatural who has been summoned to assess her mental health.
The featurette then turns to directors Michael and Peter Spierig. Peter says that their goal was, “to keep [the movie] grounded in reality. To know that this is a real story about a real place and a real person makes it really terrifying.”
Michael adds that Winchester has a “classic haunted house movie feel, like something that could have been made in the seventies.” This is surely in part due to the fact that, as Peter continues, they are a fan of practical effects and preferred to use them while shooting this film. As he and Helen Mirren talk about the moments that had the touch of practical effects rather than CGI, viewers are treated to snippets of certain effects, like the use of wires to pull actors (and possibly a dummy) across floors and into walls, or actors in special suits providing effects like shaking furniture.
The featurette ends with a short sequence of clips of scares from the film, most of which have already appeared in previous trailers.
If you’re curious about the “real story about a real place and a real person,” please check out our article on the true story of Sarah Winchester and the Winchester Mystery House here. “Anatomy of a Scare” may be watched below.
Winchester is in theatres starting today, Feb 2. The real Winchester Mystery House in California is open for tours seven days a week.