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The Ward

The Ward

USA 2010 - with Amber Heard, Danielle Panabaker, Jared Harris, Mika Boorem, Lyndsy Fonseca, Mamie Gummer ...

Movie info

Original title:The Ward
Genre:Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Direction:John Carpenter
Cinema release:29.09.2011
Production country:USA 2010
Running time:Ca. 85 Min.
Rated:From 18 years
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With movies like "Halloween" or "The Fog - Nebel des Grauens" and "The Thing" John Carpenter wrote horror movie history. The influence that his works had on the genre in the late 70s and early 80s is still noticeable today. So one could be happy when nine years after his last movie "The Ward - Die Station" finally a new Carpenter was announced. But even though the film is a solid shocker, the old master here is far from the form of early days.

At the center of the story is the young Kristen (Amber Heard), who is admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Oregon in the sixties after setting fire to a farmhouse. The girl cannot remember why she did this any more than she can remember the origin of the many injuries to her body. The attending psychiatrist Dr. Singer (Jared Harris) tries to help Kristen remember everything. Like the four other young patients in the ward, she is to be freed from her mental disorders with new drugs and radical treatment methods. But already after a short time Kristen realizes that her psyche isn't the real danger. The ward is haunted by a vengeful ghost who seems to have already fallen victim to patients. But of course nobody wants to believe Kristen that her all life is in danger...

In some settings the handwriting of Carpenter can be seen very clearly. In these moments, "The Ward - Die Station" could well be one of the early works of the cultural director. Also the station is a very atmospheric place, which offers potential for good horror. Here and there Carpenter manages to establish it and to give the viewer a pleasant goose bump. But unfortunately, there is more mediocrity and a lack of originality otherwise, which might lead to the fact that the entertainment value of the horror flick is significantly diminished, especially among connoisseurs of the genre.

The actors try their best to play against the rather lukewarm script. Amber Heard, who after movies like "All the Boys love Mandy Lane", "And soon the Darkness" or "Stepfather" has become the showpiece blonde of the current horror movie, again screams her way through the action. And also Danielle Panabaker ("Mr. Brooks", "Friday the 13th"), Meryl Streep's daughter Mamie Gummer ("Taking Woodstock") or Lyndsy Fonesca ("Kick-Ass") deliver solid performances, although their characters are absolutely exaggerated and clichéd.

The end, which is supposed to be a big surprise, is certainly not a really new idea. Anyone who has ever had to deal with disturbed personalities in a film will have often encountered the dissolution of the story of "The Ward". The big aha effect unfortunately does not happen here either. The latest work by old master John Carpenter is thus convincing in many respects and quite entertaining. But a really good horror movie didn't come out at the end - and that's all the more disappointing for an expert like Carpenter - despite the one or other cucumber he already has to show in his summary. Therefore: for fans of Amber Heard and lovers of rather simply knitted scary movies it's well worth watching. Fans of the real horror and the classic Carpenter movies will be disappointed!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "The Ward (USA 2010)"
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