THE WARD marks the first theatrical film
John Carpenter directed since THE GHOSTS OF MARS. In the last few years, THE
FOG, ASSUALT ON PRECINCT 13, and HALLOWEEN were remade by other directors while a remake of ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK thankfully
crashed and burned. The only thing that Carpenter directed were a
couple of episodes for MASTERS OF HORROR on Showtime. Flash to 2009 where
John Carpenter is directing a film in Spokane,
Washington called THE WARD. Carpenter
still knows how to craft a suspenseful horror film even though it doesn't quite reach the heights of the classics that John
Carpenter had directed like HALLOWEEN, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE THING (which has a prequel coming out in October), BIG TROUBLE
IN LITTLE CHINA, THEY LIVE, and two underrated films (IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS and PRINCE OF DARKNESS). He isn't as a crazy hard worker like he used to be.
He has shorter work days and someone else penned the music score (Mark Killian pens a very Carpenter-esque score).
Kristen (Amber Heard) is admitted
to the North Bend Psychiatric Hospital
(in Oregon during 1966) after setting a farm house on fire. She discovers North bend holds a terrifying secret involving a girl named Alice. Other patients start to discover and Kristen races to escape with other patients
before they all disappear. No one is willing to tell her the truth about
the ward and Alice.
THE WARD is a film about identity. You follow a character's journey as she finds out about Alice
and why Kristen is in North Bend. A second viewing
reveals the little clues you miss on the first time as it will become a different viewing experience from the first time you
The only extras are the theatrical trailer
and a feature audio commentary. In the audio commentary, director john Carpenter
and actor Jared Harris discuss the making of the film, directing, and the craft of acting.
It is more of a discussion of their careers and the craft than about the movie itself.
FINAL ANALYSIS: John Carpenter is a good director as ever with his return by directing THE WARD. Worth a rental- I hope it doesn't take over another 7 years
for John to direct another film.
This DVD review is (c)8-18-2011 and cannot be reprinted without permission.
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