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Friday, June 3, 2011

[4.75/10] The Ward (2011)


The Ward (2011)

Brief review: Obviously, legendary horror director John Carpenter has ran out of ideas, as his latest horror film is not only lacking in originality and cohesion, but it shamelessly borrows ideas from many other movies, such as 2003's shocker "Identity", Jaume Balagueró's "Fragile", and, believe it or not, this year's "Sucker Punch" (without the action). Furthermore, "The Ward" also suffers from identity crisis - it tries hard to be a ghost story, a drama, and a mystery thriller all at once, but it fails miserably in its attempt to be all that, and instead, it ends up being a big fat mess, that barely makes any sense. Add to this a couple of spooky images, tons of cheap jump scares, unsympathetic secondary characters, and an anti-climatic twist ending, and you'll get "The Ward". I wish I could say that John Carpenter is back in top form, but sadly, his latest movie proves the exact opposite - the direction is surprisingly sloppy, the editing is sub-par, and the visuals, while atmospheric, are hardly impressive. The extremely underrated Amber Heard is this film's only strength - she give a confident and pretty solid performance as the confused, yet bold Kristen, determined to solve the mystery behind the ward, but the poorly-written script doesn't allow her to truly shine.

Overall summary: Despite Amber Heard's utterly convincing performance, and a few tense moments, "The Ward" is just a mediocre, messy, and unimaginative horror thriller, that delivers only a few chills, and fails to live up to its director's greatness.

26 comments:

Matthew Vanacore said...

You're absolutely right. It's sad to see and even sadder to write, but John Carpenter has lost his touch. A staple of great horror has now resorted to mere mediocre mimicry. Completely unimaginative story.

Nebular said...

Matty, I've never been a big fan of Carpenter, but I didn't expect it to be that bad. Yeah, sadly, it seems he has lost his touch. It's time for him to retire.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Arrow in the Head didn't even like it, and he loves Carpenter. Dude hasn't made a good movie since the 80's.

Melissa Bradley said...

I like Carpenter, though he is hit or miss. One of my all time favorites from him is The Thing. Now, that was great horror and action.

I avoided seeing this because I just could not get into the plot or Amber Heard's acting. She meanders between decent and horribly bad. She should stick to short bursts like in Zombieland. That way she doesn't have a chance to screw it up. :)

Maynard Morrissey said...

No, is it really that bad? Fuck.

You know George:
On the one hand, Carpenter is my favorite director of all time and I really love the trailer for 'The Ward'.
On the other hand... well, his last full length feature 'Ghosts Of Mars' was an almost inexcusable stinking piece of crap

Nebular said...

Alex, then imagine how bad this really is. "The Thing" is his only masterpiece.

Nebular said...

Mel, "The Thing" is among my all-time favorite horror films as well, but that's it. Carpenter is more miss than hit for me, but I still respect him a lot as a director.

I'm sorry, sweetheart, but I have to disagree. I've watched Amber in many, many movies, and I think she's not just a pretty face. I prey she gets a bigger role in the future, to show what she's capable of, and prove you all wrong. :)

Nebular said...

Maynard, unfortunately, it wasn't good at all. Just like you, I loved the previews, and I was excited about it. However, I found it a complete rip-off of many other films, and lacking in ideas and imagination. A huge disappointment!

I like Carpenter as a whole, but I agree that "Ghosts of Mars" was beyond terrible.

See it for yourself though... you might like it better than me.

Ricky said...

Crap. I was looking forward to this one.

Nebular said...

Ricky, I was looking forward to this one too, but I ended up pretty disappointed.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't forget Monday's blogfest! Can't wait to see how (or if) you tie games into movies.

Nebular said...

Alex, I haven't forgotten ;) I'll tie games into martial arts movies, to be exact.

LoneIslander said...

Looks boring.

Nebular said...

LoneIslander, it's not necessarily boring, but kinda lame.

Melissa Bradley said...

LOL Maybe Amber will win my respect one day. Thus far she's been very disappointing in the films I have seen her in. And Soon the Darkness, Never Back Down, that atrocious Stepfather remake(which okay wasn't her fault) and Pineapple Express. Maybe her new role in The Rum Diary will showcase her talent more. You can't be bad opposite Johnny Depp, oh wait, unless you're Keira Knightly ;)

Nebular said...

Actually, I thought she did a great job in "And Soon the Darkness", as well as "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane".

Hon, just leave the prejudice aside, and give her a chance.

I really don't understand why do you hate Keira so much. One day, when I marry her, I'll invite you to our wedding, so you can meet her in person. LOL. :)

Melissa Bradley said...

Ok, I promise the next Amber Heard movie that comes out, I will watch it with a more open mind. :)

The funny thing is I actually liked Keira once upon a time. But then...It's been all downhill. If you marry her, I'll wish you well and be civil...:)

Nebular said...

Yay! :) If I could choose, I'd prefer to marry Amber instead of Keira - She's more 'my type' of girl, you know. :) I don't like her only because of her good looks though. I think she possesses some talent, but she has to loosen up a little bit. Don't you think their smiles are quite similar? :)

Melissa Bradley said...

As far as looks, Amber definitely has those in spades. She's very beautiful. Keira, well I never gave her looks much thought to be honest. :)

Nebular said...

Amber definitely wins the beauty contest :) And you win the personality one :)

Melissa Bradley said...

Awww...Thank you. :) Big Hugs!

Nebular said...

You're welcome, sweetheart ;) Hugs for you too.

Ty said...

That is unfortunate that this is a dud. Will still watch it anyway for Carpenter and Heard.

It can't be worse than Ghosts Of Mars though! Ice Cube's character is named "Desolation Williams"!

Nebular said...

Ty, yes it is. I expected a lot, since I like both, Carpenter and Amber, but what I got was a rubbish.

No, it's not worse than "Ghosts from Mars", that's for sure.

MarkusWelby1 said...

I so long for the days when he actually could scare people a little. I guess those days are gone. I may still have to check this one out and keep my fingers crossed. The reviews seem to be mixed.

Nebular said...

Markus, he could scare people, but that was a long time ago. Now, he bores people :) As we discussed before (not with you), it seems like Carpenter has lost his touch. It's a pity, since once he was very capable director.