director John Carpenter
The Ward may come to be known as horror legend John Carpenter’s final feature film. Or it may not. Who knows? At this point, Carpenter has turned to his music and The Ward may be his last outing in cinema. He’s only 68, so who knows what the future holds?
It takes place in 1966, in an all female mental ward in Bend, Oregon. The star of the film is a pre-Johnny Depp Amber Heard. She’s just burned down a farm house and gets placed in the old facility, only to quickly become beset by spooky happenings and a gnarly old lady ghost thing. She’s ensconced in a room that belonged to a girl who mysteriously disappeared.
She’s surrounded by thinly drawn inmates who are all a little too pretty, some have more quirks than others, and are slowly getting picked off by the weird evil of the place.
The whole thing pivots on a twist.
Jared Harris provides a slippery presence as the doctor trying to help.
I concur with the majority that this film is no great shakes, but still is some improvement on Carpenter’s last feature film, Ghosts of Mars (2001). It’s not completely terrible, but if it had been made by any other un-John Carpenter director, it would probably be completely unmemorable. My biggest gripe was the really terrible editing, seemingly made to keep the pace rolling — again, who knows?