Film: The Ward, 2010

Director, John Carpenter

Review by Paul Woodward

The film opens with the atmosphere and suspense you would expect from a John Carpenter film. The setting is a mental health institution in theUSAsometime in the 1960s. The camera pans from somewhere close to the floor, doors open and close mysterious lights flash on and off. And this is just to start with.

There are plenty of look who is behind you scenes, so if you’re drinking wine make sure you rest it on the table inbetween sips or it will end up in your lap or down your best jumper.

A group of young teenage girls who all have been institutionalised are oppressed by more than the staff and the doctors and the lock down routine. They think there is a ghost of a dead girl out to get them. But its not so straightforward as that. Escape attempts are made, peering through tiny windows and scuttling along service shafts inches away from the wardens.

The suspense becomes more and more psychological as the film progresses. And the ending will indeed make you jump.

The early cinematography in the film  is reminiscent of Carpenter’s masterpieces such as Prince of Darkness, it is quite a low-key affair. Not much happens but what does happen means something to the characters. There are scenes of torture and they are done quite well. The horror is personalised, it is not emblematic of impending world doom as is often seen in carpenter’s films.

Overall its a good film and well worth watching