Where did the film go wrong? Well, it certainly wasn't the casting. I'm loving every second of Amber Heard I can get as not only is she drop dead gorgeous, she's one of the few female leads to pop up in the past few years who can actually bring it when it comes to acting prowess. Recently I really dug her in DRIVE ANGRY but also the underrated gem nobody head of, THE JONESES (wicked movie if you haven't seen it). Heard handles herself well here as the woman of the hour and even holds her own against orderlies twice her size and a crazy ghost that can come out of nowhere and do just about anything it wants. Not bad for a sassy chick who weighs no more than a buck o five.
The story of a chick getting tossed in a loony bin where things apparently go bump and splash in the night ain't exactly new territory, but again, I'll bite as long as we're going somewhere. The flashbacks were cool, the gritty institution painted the grim picture needed to create a sense of fear and danger, but this DeLorean seriously derailed off a cliff once it hit eighty-eight miles per hour. Obviously I can't tell you the ending, but I was sorely disappointed. Not only was is very unoriginal, it was pretty much the inbred child of two other films which were far superior (you'll no doubt know which ones after this flick's shown you the goods). I'm not gonna point fingers or throw stones but this isn't the type of ending I was expecting from a John Carpenter backed film, especially after being MIA for so long.
THE WARD had its moments, mostly due to the mad skills Carpenter has behind the lens and the competent amount of acting talent backing the game. Not sure why they chose the sixties for this timeframe, but I'm assuming it was supposed to help us believe the patients actually had a chance in hell of escaping (note to the facility's architect: call me crazy, but I don't think the opening to the air duct should be located at eye level in one of the patient washroom stalls. I'm no expert on the subject but it feels like that should be a no brainer). The ghost was a little strange as well, I dug the secrecy and build-up but some of the pieces there didn't make a hell of a lot of sense. Either way, this isn't the comeback I was hoping for as a Carpenter fan but maybe he just needed to throw one out there as a warm-up. Here's hoping her IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS 2.
Previews: There's a theatrical trailer and a handful of others that shoot before the feature.