The Ward Reviews

July 11, 2011
An aggressively plain spook story that favors jump moments over sustained tension and winds up falling back on a particularly tired twist.
Top Critic
July 8, 2011
Carpenter has made his approximation of a cheap, twisty, shock-filled modern horror movie, and he has lost all but faint sighs of his minimalist swagger in the process.
July 8, 2011
The shocks mostly consist of figures suddenly rising up in the background, or thunderclaps from a seemingly endless thunderstorm.
July 8, 2011
Carpenter's economical but mundane chiller is possessed more by previous ghoul-friend flicks than it is by his better work.
July 8, 2011
A dull, by-the-numbers psych-ward horror thriller that's sadly a lot closer in quality to "Sucker Punch" than "Shutter Island."
July 8, 2011
"The Ward" is bland shock therapy from the guy who reinvented bloody peek-a-boo with the classic "Halloween."
July 8, 2011
Continues the painful decline of a director who seems more nostalgic for past glories than excited about new ideas.
July 7, 2011
How depressing to discover that John Carpenter is the man running this operation. His talent for building and sustaining suspense has now warped into flaccid attempt at fright and ogling ringers for Britney Spears and, in Heard's case, Scarlett Johansson.
July 7, 2011
The dialogue is never witty, the characters are indistinct, the story is set in 1966 for no relevant reason, and the scares are strictly of the "thing jumps loudly out of the shadows" variety.
July 6, 2011
Basically, this is a ghost story merged with a slasher film and sealed with a Shutter Island twist. But at least Carpenter the spook-meister knows how to goose you.
July 6, 2011
That this doesn't knock one backward out of one's seat is maybe unavoidable. But the goods here are good enough to make one eager for more.
July 6, 2011
The Ward, Carpenter's first feature since 2001's Ghosts of Mars, has the logy, diffident attitude of a lost artist.
July 6, 2011
Feels an awful lot like a low-budget knockoff of Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch."
July 6, 2011
The kills aren't terribly suspenseful or dramatically staged and they quickly grow repetitive. Worst of all, they're not particularly scary.
July 5, 2011
Carpenter does what he's always done well here: individualizing shorthand personalities in a group under siege.
January 26, 2011
It adds little to Carpenter's reputation.
January 20, 2011
A well-made film, with some finely crafted shocks and a steady pace that almost seems stately in these days of fast-cut horror.
January 20, 2011
Another misfire from Carpenter, could this be his third and final strike?
January 18, 2011
The title is marketing 101: how to sell a schlocky, throwback genre picture on the back of the past glories of a director who once dealt solely in amped-up, literate and ballsy entertainment...