The Ward

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I was surfing through the streaming options today and got very excited when I saw that John Carpenter’s The Ward was available…but sadly, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

Everything about the sets and the atmosphere was just right. There’s really nothing creepier than a mental institution, let alone one out in the middle of nowhere, and also, in the 60s. Scary metal tools, long, dark hallways, and the worst: electroshock therapy — it’s enough to cause shivers many times over even without a deranged ghost running around murdering patients.

But I digress. Kristen (Amber Heard) ends up on “the ward” because she’s burnt down a house and has no memory of what happened before, or why she did it. Also a problem – the other 4 girls in the ward start acting sketchy from the moment Kristen arrives, and on one’s coughing up any answers. One by one, the girls start to get picked off, eventually (of course) revealing a terrible secret. The thing is, the secret really isn’t that terrible. Or even that good.

There’s not a whole lot of gore in this, mostly some subtle scares and very J-horror-esque ghost. But there is quite a bit of suspense, which is what you want in a ghost story, right? I just wish the ending had been better.

I can only recommend this to faithful Carpenter fans who have to see everything he does. Otherwise, skip it.

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