13 Movies of Halloween Horror: #1 John Carpenter's The Ward

I've noticed a trend the past few years from friends that watch 31 horror movies in October in preparation for Halloween.  I don't see myself watching a movie a night, so last night I decided to ween myself in by viewing 13 movies.

The first movie as recommended by Netflix was John Carpenter's The Ward.  Initially my entire review was going to be: "The cops cuffed her after they got her in the back of their car" because there were so many glaring plot holes and crappily (it's a word in this context) written scenes, I didn't think it'd do you justice to force you to read a full review.  However, as the movie progressed it showed despite it's efforts that there was actually a good story.

The movie starred Amber Heard, who isn't a NAME actress has done a few movies I've seen her in.  This was the most challenging role I've seen her handle, and while I wouldn't say she failed, she certainly didn't impress as the crazy, maybe not crazy, new patient at an all females psych ward.  The other 'big' name in the movie is the guy who played Dr. Moriarty in the second Sherlock Holmes movie, Jared Harris (granted I had no idea what his name was until I looked it up now).  He's as good as one would expect in this type of direct to DVD movie as the doctor in charge of the ward.

Amber Heard plays Kristen, the newest patient at an experimental psych ward, a ward that has a shady past of supernatural deaths of patients.  There are a handful of other females there, each playing the different expected roles; the repressed childlike thumbsucker, butch dominating female, pretty girl, and the relatable one.  There's also the mean head nurse, and creepy attendant.  The movie makes sure to hit all the tried and true and boring character we've seen in a dozen other psych movies.  I will say one of the best things the movie did was not overplay the sex.  There was no patient molesting, no gratuitous nudity (no nudity at all) or any of those type of things other movies rely on.

The biggest issue I had in the movie was that I feel it takes place in 1966 solely as an excuse to ignore the medical inaccuracies that take place within the word, so they can just explain these away by saying it was the 60's.

The ending did have a twist I wasn't expecting, but it by no means was surprising.  Instead of playing on the cliches and tropes of one movie, it combined another movie's cliches.

For a rating, we'll go with a scale of 1=kid's popcorn, 2=small popcorn, 3=medium popcorn, 4=large popcorn, 5=bucket-o-popcorn (my theory is that the more engaging a movie is the less you're aware that you're eating the popcorn, so a great movie can have someone eat an entire bucket without realizing it, whereas a crappy movie will have you too animated yelling at the screen to waste time eating popcorn)

John Carpenter's The Ward rates a...

A medium popcorn:
The ending gives it points for originality, but would rate higher if it weren't for the bad writing and plot holes.

What's next?

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