The Ward (2010)

Directed by: John Carpenter

Written by:
Michael & Shawn Rasmussen


Amber Heard .... Kristen
Mamie Gummer .... Emily
Danielle Panabaker .... Sarah
Laura-Leigh .... Zoey
Lyndsy Fonseca .... Iris
Jared Harris .... Dr. Stringer
Susana Burney .... Nurse Lundt
D.R. Anderson .... Roy
Jillian Kramer .... Monster Alice

Release Dates: Toronto International Film Festival: September 13, 2010; Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival: October 10, 2010; Turin Film Festival: November 28, 2010; Theatrical: January 21, 2011 (UK); Dallas International Film Festival: April 1, 2011; Theatrical: April 1, 2011 (Italy) Philidelphia Cinefest: April 8, 2011; Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival: April 18, 2011; Seattle International Film Festival: May 21, 2011; Theatrical: June 2, 2011 (Greece); Theatrical: June 16, 2011 (Singapore); Limited Theatrical: July 8, 2011 (New York); Theatrical: July 20, 2011 (Phillipines); Theatrical: July 21, 2011 (Argentina); Theatrical: September 27, 2011 (Japan); Theatrical: September 29, 2011 (Germany);

*Images courtesy at:








In 1966 a troubled and disturbed teenage girl named Kristen (Amber Heard) is captured by the police after burning down a farmhouse in North Bend, Oregon and then is put away at a North Bend Psychiatric Hospital .
She is introduced by her shrink Dr. Gerald Stringer (Jared Harris) along with Nurse Lundt (Susana Burney) in which they seem to make her feel very unwelcoming.
Then she meets the rest of the inmates as they all have different types of issues but one night when they take a shower Kristen encounters some sort of a ghoul who briefly attacked her but yet the people that work there don't believe her and so they give her shocking treatments.
One of the patients named Iris (Lyndsy Fonseca) is announced to be cured and is about to be set free but suddenly this ghoulish figure straps her up and ends up killing her with some dissecting equipments. She is reported missing afterwards so Kristen starts to find some evidence at her ward and apparently this ghoul was a patient there herself and something went bad causing her life so she is seeking revenge on the patients there.


The opening looked nicely done showing special effects of glass and pictures breaking up while the opening credits were exposed in which this looked different and quite original. Afterwards we spot something taking place in the past which looked impressive watching a police car which looks like an old relic. Also spot the lead character Kristen burning down a house and then getting taken away by the police in which really makes you wonder the purpose behind all of this.
Then afterwards when Kristen is in the ward she is introduced by some of the people who work there including a nasty cold blooded nurse and shrink which seems to add to the story quite well and knew I was going to enjoy watching this flick. Plus when she is sleeping spotting some covers suddenly moving off her bed in which this definetely gives you a sinking feeling that the place is haunted.
What's really exciting to watch is when Kristen is also meeting the others patients there as there's suggested bullying about to take place which is what I love in a film showing some intense moments here and there when this is about to happen.
Emily starts singing a taunt towards Zoey as well as a nice sobbing reaction on her plus some nice high energy on Sarah about to strike her in which drove out alot for them to be like this looking good, disturbing and well written in.
But then we see them dancing to some music which seemed a bit uplifting and making you want to join along to what they are doing since this seems to be a time for happiness with all of them and it's thundering outside and then a power outage happens in which this adds a nice creepy touch changing everything especially spotting some ghostly figure briefly watching them all making this moment very haunting and mysterious. Nice touch here for sure.
A nice shot on Monster Alice grabbing Kristen by the throat with a great shocking scream on her.
There's also a shower scene in which you wonder if any of the girls will pull off anything funny since rapings and other activities happen when this takes place but they all seem fine and a great jumping moment with the ghostly figure grabbing Kristen by the throat as this looked exciting to watch and then the orderly's come in to inject a needle in her arm in which this looks frusterating when she tries to explain to them on what is happening and they don't listen. Plus she is strapped down and giving her shocking treatments as this looked a little dysfunctional on the caretakers treating her nastily.
The story almost turns psychological almost in a Saw and Hostel type fashion as one fo the girls who is supposedly cured is sudenly strapped and hauled away and put into a room where we spot dissecting tools and other stuff that looks painful along with this ghoul behind the madness here. The scene definetly looked good and dark with the surroundings and giving you a cringing feel on what's gonna happen to her as this looked pretty spooky.
There's a few times when Kristen is forced to take her pills and you kinda suspect that she faked swallowing them and then you spot her hiding them in her pillow case in which this almost pays off to the scene's with Laurie Strode in the beginning of Halloween: Resurrection. It works well doing this since it looks like a good common hiding place for someone who refuses to take their medicine. Also there's a perverted guard watching her later on not giving you a nice feel on what his plans are for her. It was nicely written in and in a good dark fashion too.
Some good snarling arguments with the patients towards one another in what is happening and going crazy by all of this in which this looked impressive to watch especially with one of them named Sarah getting nasty with everyone and then walking off. It's interesting to see her try to make a move on that guard and he shows no interest which seems strange since he has a sleazy behavior towards all of them.
Nice intense moments when Sarah is strapped in some sort of an electric chair and volts are going into her as well as the graphic results on her being tortured to death in which this sometimes looked painful to watch. It was done in a great horror fashion.
What's really disturbing is when one of the patients telling Kristen about what had happened at the sanitarium with the ghoul's past as a girl who's name was Alice suddenly being killed by the other patients by putting a sack over her head to make her suffocate to death. Imagine dying slowly like that lacking air is not pleasant at all.
Nice moments with Kristen pacing around in her room and a nice shot on Roy speaking towards her watching her in which this scene is doen in a great dark type of fashion.
Lots of good action when Kristen tries to force her way out of the ward making out that she's going to sacrifice someone in order to escape but yet that fails when someone grabs a hold of her which makes you disappointed that she failed big time and hoping that maybe she will do something vengeful to one of them for treating her poorly with the intensity all happening here.
It does get even more creepy and exciting when Kristen tries to battle against this Alice Ghoul as there's lots of jumping moments with sudden attacks as well as Kristen grabbing an axe and ready to do battle. Great physical movements between the two of them during battling moments which was done at a great pace along with a nice aggressive attacking moment on Kristen swinging down an axe. This moment was in perfect taste.
Then close to the end of the story everything is explanied by Kristen's presence as well as to why she burned that house down in which this defientely is a good solved mystery and quite twisted after spotting everything that was happening beforehand. I won't spoil it for ya but this worked out pretty cleverly.
Bottom line is that this film definetely worked on it's own and in my mind one of the best horror films put out this year as it was well done and can inspire Hollywood to make more original films than seeing a bloody remake all the time. Some of the character's like the nasty nurse etc. reminded me of the character's at Alice Cooper's concert performance whenever he performs "Ballad of Dwight Fry" in which my guess is that the writers got a neat idea as to how to make a story watching his performance throughout all of this. I enjoyed this movie all the way through and it wasn't surprising as to it going to film festivals as well as a theatrical release in foreign areas since it would appeal to those viewers as well. By all mean check this out if you're into this type of mysterious horror stories.

The acting was very well done in which lead actress Amber Heard (Kristen) seemed to draw in her performance very well acting calm at times as well as showing great intense anger and screaming too. There's a great reaction on her screaming and struggling while two people are dragging her into their vehicle as the energy is at a great high pitced pace with all that's happening here. She also does well by acting tough and vengeful by doing a believeable job at doing so along with her other performances surrounding her role in all of this. A good drugged reaction on her trying to stay awake as she got into the mood quite well doing this while she gets sedated. Does well freaking out on a stretcher when she gets a shocking treatment. A nice energetic approach with her smacking someone and telling them off as this showed great power on how she was coached while performing all of this. She needed a bit more energy when she grabs someone with a knife towards her neck demanding the other to let her out. Yet it was still passable at the same time. She was definetely a worthy character actress.
Mamie Gummer (Emily) certainly had a nice shrieky and irritating type of speaking and personality to her role in the film in which she came across as believeably annoying along with great disturbed attitude in whatever she did. A nice approach by her towards another actress taunting her with her words and acting very cold like in which this seemed to come across perfectly with her high pitched speaking. She seemed to pull it off causing trouble in the beginning of her performance as well as having a tense type of behavior being scared of stuff. All of this was drawn in perfectly.
Danielle Panabaker (Sarah) showed a great nasty girl as the other patient and was very believeable by acting cocky and stuck up. She seemed to stand out perfectly well within her role with this kind of person really making you want to hit her for her hurtful actions towards others. She shows a ton of great energy within all of this.
Laura-Leigh (Zoey) knew her stuff by acting crazy thinking that she is still a little child really studying the surroundings on her character as if she was a frightened child acting scared as a mouse. A good freaked out reaction on her when the power goes out. Also reacts well to crying when a secret is told to her. Her performance drew in well here. She does this all superbly and really proves herself to be a nicely performed character actress too within her performance.
Lyndsy Fonseca (Iris) showed off a nice calm type of behavior and acting believeably likeable in her role. She shows a nice type of happiness in her role too acting full of life. She really showed a perfect life like happiness announcing her freedom showing great energy. She also knows on how to change this right away when terror strikes her bringing out great intensive frightened energy at high speed. She let out a great high pitched scream when something deadly is about to happen to her showing off a terrific intensive reaction. All of this was pretty impressive. Does a good interaction by trying to act tempting and charming towards someone else.
Jared Harris (Dr. Stringer) shows a good gruff type of behavior presenting himself as someone that you don't want to deal with along with a good stern and overly strict type of seriousness to his part. He was great by acting aggressive whenever he needed to behave this way along with showing a nice bluntness to whatever he does.
Susana Burney (Nurse Lundt) stood out the most in her performance by having an aggressive and expressionless behavior along with getting fresh and cold with her speaking. She seemed to do well by having a cold blooded cruel type of attitude to whatever she did in her performance along with acting butch and tough too. A great forceful and fresh speaking on her forcing someone to swallow some pills in which this looked nicely done and in a great cold fashion too. I really enjoyed watching her do all this as you just want to smack her upside down she performs it this well. Two thumbs up for her and a great supporting role indeed.
D.R. Anderson (Roy) breezes through in his role as a security of the asylum and he does come across nicely as a sleazy type with his dark speaking making him quite intimidating and untrustworthy in what he does. He's got the knack for this part and definetely knew on how to act blunt and rough too with his actions. Does well by acting blunt and gruff while someone tries to tempt him.

A throat is bloodily slit open
Someone is burned while having electro shocks zapping through her

Alot of great effective composing in this movie giving everything a perfect feel to what is happening. There's great icy singing chants for the opening sequence. Plus there's alot of low rumbling and hissing sounds used throughout alot of the story when it's dark and creepy. Plus great booming and banging sounds which works to make you jump out of your seat. Also nice low sounding violin music too with the odd chiming sounds. This was marvellously put together by Mark Kilian.