June 18, 2011

The Ward (2010)



"A thriller centered on an institutionalized young woman who becomes terrorized by a ghost."

It's hard to believe but there is actually a worse film now than "Sucker Punch". Yes, that was a major spoiler for those who even care. If you haven't seen "The Ward" yet then I simply advise you to not waste your time and money on this turd unless you are the world's biggest fan of Amber Heard. Oh, how funny, her name even rhymes.

It's not actually Amber "Mandy Lane" Heard's fault that John Carpenter tried his hardest to rip-off "Shutter Island", "Sucker Punch", "Fight Club" and "Identity" all at the same time nor is it her fault that, apart from being pretty and having great legs, she has no screen presence whatsoever. If you create a horror film this plodding with so few scares and then use TV standard cinematography, nobody is going to look like a Hollywood starlet.

Unfortunately, Amber Heard also belongs to the "eyes and teeth" (or Joey Tribbiani) school of acting which doesn't do her any favours either with her wonky front gnashers. To say that she is beyond bland is an understatement though, obviously, I don't think anyone else could do any better considering the script and terrible lines that her character (Kristen) has to say.

I think you've guessed by now that I hated watching "The Ward". The main reason for this was that I thought it was going to be a ghost story and it turned out to be one of those stupid cop-out twist-ending stories which make a mockery of everything you've watched for the hour and a half previously. As usual, I didn't see the twist coming. This time it was because I was too busy focussing on Lyndsy Fonseca until she, the only truly gorgeous girl in the film, disappeared. After that, I really struggled to keep any interest in any of it at all. Forget the tease of a shower scene from the trailer too since that's all you get to see. "The Ward" is a PG-13 in all but rating.

"The Ward" is most certainly going into The Dungeon now even though it would be foolish of me to say that it was even close to being the worst horror film that I've ever seen. If I was to compare "The Ward" to anything else in the genre then it would be one of the weaker episodes in the "Masters of Horror" or "Fear Itself" TV series though it still wouldn't be as bad as one of the "Afterdark Horrorfest" movies from the last couple of years.

Like everyone, I still think that John Carpenter was great back in the days of "Halloween", "The Fog" and "The Thing" but ever since "Ghosts of Mars" he really seems to have lost all directing ability (or credibility) in the horror genre and "The Ward" is far from being his best work.

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