The Ward (2010)
Plot: Master of horror John Carpenter returns to form — and to the director’s chair — for this chilling thriller in which a young woman, Kristen (Amber Heard), is sent to a mental institution with a past as dark and haunted as her own. Terrorized by a ghost, each of the other patients in Kristen’s ward begin to disappear, and that’s just the beginning of her long nightmare. Jared Harris (“Mad Men”) and Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th) also star.
My Review: The movie starts out with a girl in a mental hospital being attacked by something. It then switches to morning in the year 1966, a girl (Kristen) is running through the woods in a nightgown. She makes it to a house where she burns it to the ground. Police happen upon her, and she is taken to the same psychiatric hospital we saw in the beginning. She is disrobed and put into a hospital gown. She then meets the rest of the girls on the ward with her, Sarah, Zoey, Iris, and Emily.
Soon after she arrives she experiences “ghostly” activity. A girl peaking in her room in the middle of the night, a dead girl in the shower, and someone stealing her stuff from her room. When she starts telling people about it she gets electroshock theory.
Eventually one of the patients go “missing”. We see her get carted off by the same dead girl we’ve seen here and there and she kills the girl. Emily and Kristen devise a plan to escape from their rooms and look for the missing girl so they can all hopefully escape the hospital for good. Of course their plan doesn’t quite go the way they plan. A little while later another girl goes missing and as she’s being killed/tortured by the dead girl she starts yelling about not meaning to do something. So obviously there is back story with this girl. There always is, right?
Throughout the movie we get flashes of a girl hanging from shackles in some dark room and some large man coming into the room. This scene happens over and over again each time we see a little more, and we don’t find out what it all means till the very end. . . An end I never saw coming…
See this is one of those movies where you are wondering if they really are crazy, or if something else is going on. My thought the entire time was that the doctors were screwing with them to try some sort of new experiment, or perhaps the doctors got off on spooking the girls, maybe they really were being haunted, or maybe they really were just crazy. I’ll save ruining the ending for you readers out there. But as I said, I didn’t really think too much about it, so I didn’t really see the ending coming.
Gore/FX: Not much really until much later in the movie when someone gets their throat slashed. The dead chick looks “alright”. She appears to have stuff crawling through her skin, which is obviously CGI. But I guess that doesn’t pertain to the story, because nothing is ever said about it.
Sexual Content: Side boobs in shower by most of the girls
Acting: I really liked Danielle Panabaker (Sarah) in the Friday The 13th remake as a good girl, it was a switch to see her play a mean crazy chick, but I liked her in the role. Everyone else in this is someone you recognize from another film, which makes movies more enjoyable for me, but then I’m always sitting there wondering just where I’ve seen them before. Mamie Gummer (Emily) was also a great “crazy chick”.
Overall: This had potential to be really spooky. I really didn’t see it ending the way it did. And while it wasn’t what I was expecting (and has been done before) it was interesting and I liked it. I didn’t feel like I had been robbed or disappointed at all. On the other hand it was nothing great.
View The Trailer