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The Ward (2010)
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Acclaimed director John Carpenter makes his long awaited return to the screen with a thriller about a young woman in a 1960s mental institution who becomes terrorized by malevolent unseen forces. Kristen, a beautiful but troubled young woman, finds herself bruised, cut, drugged with laughing gas. The other patients in the ward four equally disturbed young women offer no answers, and Kristen quickly realizes things are not as they seem. The air is heavy with secrets, and at night, when the hospital is dark and foreboding, she hears strange and frightening sounds. It appears they are not alone. One-by-one, the other girls begin to disappear and Kristen must find a way out of this hellish place before she, too, becomes a victim. As she struggles to escape, she will uncover a truth far more dangerous and horrifying than anyone could have imagined.
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Top customer reviews
Nothing new, descent acting, good directing, the make up of the ghost looked a bit cheesey as opposed to scary. However, I did like the camera views of the hallway. As much as I liked the looooong stretchy hallways it isn't a movie I would watch again.
On a side note it was nice to see a horror type movie without alot of gratutious sex and nudity. There wasn't any gore or extensive kill sequences in the movie so that was a treat. Just wished it was more original.
Carpenter does not break new ground here, but he clearly demonstrates his skill as a filmmaker as the film has a polish and is often genuinely scary. I jumped many times in watching "The Ward" and I also admired the excellent performances by all, especially Heard (makes a gutsy heroine) and Harris, whose casting track record makes him a perfect choice for the role as we are not certain as to whether he is naughty or nice. Carpenter does not rely on gratuitous gore (though he does not shy from gore either), but rather creepy cinematography, an eerie score, and strong acting and directing. "The Ward" is a quality thriller, much better than most of what passes for horror these days, and Carpenter deftly pulls a surprise ending (I didn't see it coming anyway) that works quite well.
The bluray presentation is excellent. Colors are well saturated and the film's grain structure remains in tact giving the movie a wonderful, filmic texture. There is no evidence of DNR, aliasing, banding, or any other pitfalls or attempts at artifically sharpening the film. This renders some terrific details, especially the truly creepy make-up effects by KNB. The soundtrack is mastered in DTS-HD MA 5.1 and it is a stellar listen. Every clap of thunder ans burst of music on the soundtrack sounds pristine. Dialogue is crisp and well-prioritized. Sound effects are terrifically detailed, only adding to the film's creepiness. I have heard the SD version is a rather lousy print, so BD is the only way to go here to appreciate the film.
"The Ward" heralds Carpenter's return to form. He has given us a classy ghost story. It's scary and well-made. This is a great movie to rent and watch with your girlfriend on a Saturday night to get her to grab on to you for protection. I greatly enjoyed the film, and for Carpenter fans, it is a must-own.
I want to end my review by saying that I think that Carpenter is one of the best and least pretentious directors working today. I would even place him up there with Francis Ford Coppola or Roman Polanski. He's a true independent and an artist I will even say. I even have faith that I will appreciate this movie more the next time I view it. Carpenter has never made a bad film in my mind and this film is just as good as his other works. If you're not into Carpenter or don't relate to his sensibilities then you may be disappointed.