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The Ward (2010)

  Tags: Amber Heard, Danielle Panabaker, ghosts, haunted, haunting, John Carpenter, Mamie Gummer, psychiatric ward, revenge, spirit, the ward

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (4 votes)
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John Carpenter
88 minutes
Amber Heard, Danielle Panabaker, Mamie Gummer, Jared Harris, Mika Boorem, Lyndsy Fonseca, Laura-Leigh

Oh, John Carpenter, how I've missed thee. With the exception of directing a couple episodes of the terrible Master's of Horror series, this marks the horror maestro's return to feature film, after a decade long hiatus. Sadly, it seems the long wait for his return was a fruitless one. Instead of delivering an original piece of work, he's going off an incredibly mediocre script and contributing very little of what we're used to seeing from him. He doesn't even score his own films anymore! It's a sad time to be an old horror fan, seeing all the greats resort to mediocre-to-bad genre efforts, but I digress.

The story revolves around Amber Heard's character, as she's escorted off to a mental asylum after setting a house on fire. Not long after staying there she begins to notice strange things, primarily the appearance of a spooky looking female apparition. She eventually meets a small group of diverse "crazy" women that she befriends over time. From her own investigative work, and her new found friends, she eventually discovers that this malevolent spirit is the result of the death of a former patient (how original). As each patient begins to disappear one by one, it's up to the remaining few to either escape or somehow put a stop to the ghost.

The Ward is a mediocre feature, giving us nothing we haven't already seen before. Even down to its eye-rolling ending, which was easily predicted if you center a movie around the patients in a mental asylum, as movies like that normally only end in less than handful of ways. The flick primarily focuses on pop-up scares the entire time, leaving very little room for creativity. Though, as for the biggest issue I had with the film, I would have to once again refer to the ending, which conveniently allows all the plot-holes I noticed throughout the flick to be easily shrugged off.

In all honesty, the flick could've been directed by anyone, and had I not already known that Carpenter directed it, I would never have guessed it was his work. However, on a more positive note, the film never bored me and the look of the evil spirit was above-average and was actually somewhat creepy in a couple scenes.

A sad and disappointing return for John Carpenter, as I found The Ward to be nothing more than an average film, packed with all the clichés that we're used to seeing from the genre. To top it off, the movie delivers a predictable climax that has not only been used before, but also seems to be a half-assed approach to not having to explain all the plot-holes encountered earlier on. A decent watch if you're not looking for anything original, but I'd advise skipping it otherwise.

Posted on June 5, 2011 - 2:35pm | FrighT MasteR