I am looking at the poster for John Carpenter’s “The Ward” and it has a quote from a critic that says “Carpenter proves he is still the master of shock.” That is clearly a statement taken out of context because the next sentence must be something like, “This movie is so bad it is shocking Carpenter could be involved.”
The setup is fairly simple. In 1966 Oregon, a young girl gets sent to the crazy house for some unknown reason and is haunted there by a ghost. The best part and the main reason I watched this movie was because the young girl is played by Amber Heard. They don’t tell you that she is either dressed in a hospital gown or clothes from 1966 for the entire movie. Neither of those outfits is flattering on her and thus we are forced to watch her try to act. Luckily for her, most of the acting is either sitting by a window staring into the distance or running through halls trying to escape. There are some other girls at the ward with her, none of them worth mentioning and none of them I’d ever seen before. John Carpenter hadn’t directed a movie since “Ghosts of Mars” in 2001 so I’ll given him a bit of a break and say he was just rusty.
Why in the world he chose this script from Michael and Shawn Rasmussen as a comeback is beyond comprehension and beyond forgiveness. A lazy setup and a boring, been there seen that a hundred times ending is no way to welcome back a truly great horror filmmaker. I tried to think of any possible reason this film deserved even one star and I honestly can’t think of one. I’ll give it a half star because it was at least shot in focus. Please avoid this film at all costs.
Come to think of it, the title “Ghosts of Mars” is more interesting than anything in “The Ward.” Add that to the Netflix Que.
½ out of 5.