THE WARD (2011) Review

Directed by: John Carpenter
Starring: Amber Heard, Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker, Jared Harris

I'm a huge fan of John Carpenter's films (well most of them) so I was pretty excited to see his newest film, even if his last directorial effort (Ghosts of Mars) was a huge disappointment. Then I watched the trailer for The Ward, and speaking of disappointments this seemed like it would be another. But I'm always willing to give any horror film a chance, even if I'm expecting it to be terrible. I have been pleasantly surprised in the past.

The Ward is set in Oregon in 1966 and centers on a young girl Kristen, (Amber Heard) who is picked up by the police for torching a local farmhouse. She is taken to the North Bend psychiatric hospital and begins her treatment under Dr Stringer, (Jared Harris) who believes that some underlying traumatic experience led her to burn down the house.
But soon Kristen finds herself and her fellow patients being haunted by the ghost of a former patient named Alice. What follows is a fairly predictable and generic fright-fest, which uses almost every cliche know to horror cinema. There are plenty of those 'who's behind the door?' and 'is there somebody on the other side of the window?' moments, as well as the familiar and overused 'ghost appearing in the mirror' trick.
Even so, the film does have it's tense moments, although they are entirely unoriginal.
For me, the best part of the film was the clever twist towards the end, which even though I had some idea of what it was, I never fully worked it out until it was revealed.
The Ward is also let down by some pretty average performances across the board, and I eventually found myself rooting for the ghost so that I didn't have to endure these characters any longer.

If you're one of those people who aren't looking for a film that breaks any kind of new ground or provide any new or genuine scares, then this film is a great way to spend an hour and a half. Anybody else however, will most likely find this to be another big disappointment, especially coming from John Carpenter.

No comments:

Post a Comment