When an old farmhouse is set ablaze by Kristen, a distraught young woman, she is taken by police to the North Bend Psychiatric Hospital. She awakens in a special ward with four similarly unbalanced and wayward girls: Sarah, a flirty and sass-talking know it all; Iris, a sensitive and talented artist who tries to make her feel welcome; Emily, a reckless but playful outcast; and Zoey, who hides behind a childlike persona and her beloved stuffed bunny. Kirsten’s therapist, Dr. Stringer, tries to uncover the root cause of her breakdown, but despite his calm and understanding manner, she resists any attempts at help and rehabilitation.
Unfortunately, the hospital is not the sanctuary it seems to be. Kristen begins to have strange run-ins with a shadowy phantom who roams the halls when the ward is locked down at night. Persistent and inquisitive, she goes digging for information about former patients and soon becomes convinced that no one ever leaves the ward alive.
The Ward marks a resurgence in director John Carpenter’s celebrated stylistic mojo, with his trademark prowling camera, jump scares, and the sort of atmospherics that typified The Fog and Prince of Darkness.
Set in the sixties, the film’s tone and style have much in common with the works of one of horror’s great, under-recognized masters, Val Lewton, while also nodding in the direction of Samuel Fuller’s cult classic Shock Corridor. Led by previous Midnight Madness starlet Amber Heard, the titular lead from All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Carpenter’s cast of locked-up bad girls brings the picture to life.
The Ward is Carpenter’s return to form after a decade-long absence, further proof that he deserves the mainstream critical respect and recognition of an American auteur. –TIFF.net
John Howard Carpenter (born January 16, 1948) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, editor, composer, and occasional actor. Although Carpenter has worked in numerous film genres, his name is most commonly associated with horror and science fiction.
Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, the son of Milton Jean (née Carter) and Howard Ralph Carpenter, a music professor. He and his family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1953. He was captivated by movies from an early age, particularly the westerns of Howard Hawks and John Ford, as well as 1950s low budget horror and science fiction films, such as Forbidden Planet and The Thing from Another World and began filming horror shorts on 8 mm film even before entering high school. He briefly attended Western Kentucky University where his father chaired the music department, but transferred to the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts in 1968 and graduated in 1971.
At USC Cinema, one of… read more
A masterclass in B-picture filmmaking. Carpenter takes on as pulpy and ridiculous a script as he has ever worked, and enlivens it with a ferocious sense of purpose. As with the best of Carpenter's work, even if this may not necessarily match up with it, every shot frames its subjects and moves with supreme confidence and disarming ease.
Not awful, but the constant sub-Grudge-remake jump scares really get in the way of solid, understated filmmaking and surprisingly good acting. The lobotomy murder is a brutal bit of work in an otherwise tame thriller. Lifts from giallo (with an upscale Goblin score), as noted below, which is interesting. But seriously, get a handle on those cheap jolts. And we end on a mirror scare! Really? I can't respect that.
Un buon thriller psicologico girato con la consueta eleganza stilistica.La sceneggiatura non è molto originale e ad un certo punto del film la trama diventa prevedibile,ma Carpenter ha una maestria tale che l'osservazione dei suoi movimenti fà passare in secondo piano la storia raccontata.Non è certo tra le sue opere migliori,ma è stato ingiustamente massacrato.Bellissima la protagonista.3*
What makes it so fascinating is that Carpenters style actually contradicts the twist and storyline so the mental madhouse eventually begins to represents the film itself. As a result the tongue and cheek in this film takes on an opposite affect then in would in some of his greater films (from what I've seen) it may be a downside but the film has its masterful points, we get to see his Hitchcockian side in that you cant simply watch the film it requires you to become obsessed with it.
In our annual poll, we pair our favorite new films of 2011 with older films seen in the same year to create fantastic double features.
Framed in a close shot, college students go about their business around a Xerox machine when a spray of bullets suddenly rips into the image
While i was expecting the film to be bad the way it has been talked about and dumped into theaters and now DVD. it’s not as bad as you have heard. it’s certainly not Carpenter’s worst film, Nor does… read review