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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

John Carpenter's THE WARD

DVD Review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  88 minutes, audio commentary, theatrical trailer

VIDEO:  2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreeen)

AUDIO:  English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:  none (only English close captioning)


STUDIO:  Arc Entertainment/ Xlrator Media/ A Bigger Boat/ Filmnation Entertainment/ Premiere Picture/ Echo Lake Entertainment

RELEASE DATE:  8-16-2011

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 see it.



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.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com


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