Daily Archives: 06/21/2012
JOHN CARPENTER’S THE WARD-United States-2011
Directed by John Carpenter
Written by Michael Rasmussen and Shawn Rasmussen
John Carpenter’s still got it. If you don’t believe me, then by all means check out “The Ward.” Despite the fact that it has nearly every cliché associated with films set within mental institutions (the Nurse Ratchet type nurse, the orderly that catches you at every turn, pretending to swallow the pills they give you, shock therapy) and an ending that was telegraphed from the next county, “The Ward” is a triumphant return to horror for a director that’s been gone for far too long. It has not been since “Insidious” that I have found myself clutching my chest and breathing heavy as I just did while watching this film. Carpenter turns the tension up to ten and keeps going until he shatters our minds with terror and fear.
Kristen (Amber Heard-”All the Boys Love Mandy Lane“, “Zombieland”) is placed in a mental institution after setting fire to a farmhouse and watching it burn. Like R.P. McMurphy before her, she bucks the system and attempts every possible way to escape the confines of the ward. Unlike our old pal R.P., her reason for leaving is quite a different story. It seems that all the friends (Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker, Lyndsy Fonseca, and Laura-Leigh) that she’s made on the ward are being murdered by an angry and vengeful ghost named Alice Hudson and Kristen just so happens to be on her shit list. Why, you ask; I’ll never tell. That would be cheating. Watch the film and see for yourself just like I did.
I will tell you this much; “The Ward” is John Carpenter’s best film since “The Thing.” It is a welcome return to form for a director who long ago strayed off the beaten path of his vision. Bow down to the king, peasants.
John Carpenter’s first full-length feature film since Ghosts of Mars, and his first feature not shot in Panavision since his debut Dark Star.
On the audio commentary, Jared Harris asks John Carpenter why he did not compose the soundtrack, John replied “quite frankly, I’m just too old.”
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