John Carpenter's The Ward

  • Film
  • Horror films
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The title is marketing 101: how to sell a schlocky, throwback genre picture on the back of the past glories of a director who once dealt solely in amped-up, literate and ballsy entertainment such as ‘The Thing’, ‘They Live’ and ‘Halloween’? This latest effort – arriving nine years after his previous lame duck, ‘The Ghosts of Mars’ – has a superbly designed opening title sequence, with sinister images refracted in cracked glass. But it’s swiftly downhill from there, as we’re given a panache-free, ’60s-set thriller involving a gang of teenage girls locked up in a psych ward for reasons unknown. Feisty Kristen (Amber Heard) is the newest inmate and makes the strongest effort to discover why a creepy quack (Jared Harris) is keeping them there. There are a few scares, but beside the fact that it’s all totally illogical and the girls seem able to escape from their high-security block at will, the film doesn’t have anything important or timely to say about youth, medicine, post-traumatic stress or anything. Just don’t call it a comeback. No seriously, don’t.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday January 21 2011
Duration: 88 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Amber Heard
Jared Harris
Lyndsy Fonseca
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