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The Ward (2010)

R | | Horror | 8 July 2011 (USA)
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An institutionalized young woman becomes terrorized by a ghost.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sali Sayler ...
Susanna Burney ...
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Roy (as Dan Anderson)
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Jimmy
Jillian Kramer ...
Ghost Alice
Mark Chamberlin ...
Mr. Hudson
Andrea Petty ...
Mrs. Hudson (as Andrea L. Petty)
Tracy Schornick ...
Cop #1 (as Tracey Schornick)
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Storyline

In 1966, in North Bend, Oregon, the runaway Kristen is captured by the police after burning down a farmhouse and is locked in the North Bend Psychiatric Hospital. Kristen is introduced to Dr. Gerald Stringer, who uses experimental therapy. Then she meets the inmates Emily, Sarah, Zoey and Iris and the tough nurse Lundt. During the night and in the shower later, Kristen sees the ghost of a woman and she learns that she is Alice Leigh Hudson, a mysterious wicked intern that has disappeared. When Iris is ready to go home, she is attacked by the ghost of Alice in the basement and murdered. She vanishes and the inmates decide to seek Iris out. Then Sarah is abducted by the Alice and also killed; the next one is Emily. Meanwhile Kristen escapes from her room and meets Zoey, expecting to protect her. However, Zoey is kidnapped by Alice and Kristen runs to Dr. Stringer's office. She snoops his desk and finds a report with the truth about Alice. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Only Sanity Can Keep You Alive

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

8 July 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's The Ward  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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." See more »

Goofs

The story takes place in 1966, but the ambulance is a 1968 Cadillac. See more »

Quotes

Iris: Listen, don't let this place get to you. You stay locked up long enough and you start to believe that you're nuts.
See more »

Connections

Features Tormented (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Boom, Boom, Ain't It Great To Be Crazy?
(uncredited)
Performed by Emily
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User Reviews

 
Mediocre film from an otherwise great director
5 October 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Ward is an adequate horror film but could have been directed by anyone; after such a long hiatus one would expect John Carpenter to produce something much, much better.

The film suffers from a fairly weak script (not penned by Carpenter) and the big "surprise" ending is easily deduced very early in the film. As other reviewers here have noted, the "horror" elements are basically comprised of things jumping out variety; if you expect mood and atmosphere (e.g. Escape from NY, The Thing, Prince of Darkness)--THINK AGAIN.

It would appear the film was made on an extremely low budget; 95% of the movie takes place indoors; most of it in just a few rooms. The set design adequately portrays 1966 (the film's setting), however the wardrobe, makeup and hairstyles of the primary actresses are anachronistic and undermine suspension of disbelief.

Let me expand on that last point as it betrays an artistic compromise I was surprised to see JC make; every one of the main actresses is dolled up--in a modern way. Their hair is cut, dyed, streaked, and styled in a completely modern manner. And although they're supposedly in a mental ward, they apparently put copious amounts of makeup on each and every day. And it's not old-style makeup; in one scene, a female lead character is clearly wearing lip gloss. One woman wears Ronsir Shuron (geek) glasses, however her look is much more "hipster" than it is authentic. Oh, the clothes the "patients" wear--let's just say they're colorful and fabulous...not what I'd expect to find in a mid-60s mental ward. One more thing in this area; all the primary women actresses are beautiful. This is a common element in modern "horror" films where style trumps substance; unfortunately I expected JC to make more of an effort to set an atmosphere where I'm less likely to ogle the actresses than I am to be sucked into the nightmare he's trying to portray.

Having seen every Carpenter film (in the theatre) over the past 30 years, I am disappointed that I was forced to watch the master release this nearly direct-to-DVD title. If you're a JC fan, by all means watch this, but don't expect more than a slightly above-average horror film. The biggest disappointment is that the film was directed by Carpenter and I'm left wondering if this is the best he can do, or if he was hemmed in by a small budget and producers who demanded he make a more cookie-cutter type film.


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