The Ward

Master of horror John Carpenter returns to form -- and to the director's chair -- for this chilling thriller in which a young woman, Kristen (Amber Heard), is sent to a mental institution with a past as dark and haunted as her own. Terrorized by a ghost, each of the other patients in Kristen's ward begin to disappear, and that's just the beginning of her long nightmare. Jared Harris ("Mad Men") and Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th) also star.
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Netflix Rating: 3.4
Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
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An aggressively plain spook story that favors jump moments over sustained tension and winds up falling back on a particularly tired twist.
William Goss,  full review
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.
The horror master's first film in nine years is not the comeback we had wished.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune  full review
The shocks mostly consist of figures suddenly rising up in the background, or thunderclaps from a seemingly endless thunderstorm.
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger  full review
Carpenter's economical but mundane chiller is possessed more by previous ghoul-friend flicks than it is by his better work.
Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News  full review
A dull, by-the-numbers psych-ward horror thriller that's sadly a lot closer in quality to "Sucker Punch" than "Shutter Island."
Lou Lumenick, New York Post  full review
"The Ward" is bland shock therapy from the guy who reinvented bloody peek-a-boo with the classic "Halloween."
Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times  full review
Continues the painful decline of a director who seems more nostalgic for past glories than excited about new ideas.
Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times  full review
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.
Wesley Morris, Boston Globe  full review
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.
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly  full review
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.
Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies  full review
Feels an awful lot like a low-budget knockoff of Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch."
Andrew O'Hehir,  full review
The kills aren't terribly suspenseful or dramatically staged and they quickly grow repetitive. Worst of all, they're not particularly scary.
Christy Lemire, Associated Press  full review
Carpenter does what he's always done well here: individualizing shorthand personalities in a group under siege.
Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice  full review
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  • Release Year: 2011
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Runtime: 88 min
  • Available From: Oct 15, 2011
  • Queued by: 2006 people
Directed By
John Carpenter
Amber Heard, Mamie Gummer, Danielle Panabaker, Laura-Leigh, Lyndsy Fonseca, Jared Harris, Sydney Sweeney, D.R. Anderson, Mika Boorem

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