UK Release date: 21st January 2011
Watched on Sky+ Monday 9th January 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
John Carpenter has made some of my favourite films, however, his more recent efforts have been a little wide of the mark. So it was with much trepidation that I hit the play button for this one; the reports I’d read had not been encouraging. Sorry to say the reports were right to some extent, although I don’t think it deserved some of the vitriolic bile aimed at it. I’ll tell you what I mean by that after this brief summary.
When the young Kristen is sent to a psychiatric ward in 1966, she finds herself with a group of young women who all have different problems. On her first night someone steals her blanket and yet she is locked alone in her room. The others, Emily, Sarah, Zoey and Iris are all adamant that there is no way out, but Kristen wants to leave. Things come to a head when she is attacked in the shower; not by one of the other girls, but by a ghost! Investigating, she finds the name, Alice Hudson and, as her fellow inmates begin to disappear one by one she gets more desperate to escape! But there’s a problem and her physician, Dr. Stringer, holds the key. I won’t say any more or the Spoiler Police will be locking me up (again).
It’s all quite well shot, but (to me) it has the feel of quite a low-budget picture. I felt some of the acting was quite forced, if not poor, in places (particularly at the beginning). Since nobody really stood out I will give honourable mentions to; Amber Heard as Kristen, Mamie Gummer as Emily, Danielle Panabaker as Sarah, Laura-Leigh as Zoey, Lyndsy Fonseca as Iris and Jared Harris as Dr. Stringer.
Some of the reviews I’ve read about this film have been really venomous in their criticism of it. To some extent I agree, John Carpenter is capable of making much better films than this. But on the other hand; what he has produced, if not entirely original, is still quite watchable (after a while) and there are some genuinely frightening moments in it. In conclusion I guess what I’m trying to say is yes, it’s not all that good, but at the same time it’s not all that bad either. There are some good ideas here but the execution didn’t quite work this time… As far as recommendation goes, I’ll leave that entirely up to you.
My score: 4.9/10.
IMDb Score: 5.6/10 (based on 10,186 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 32/100 (based on 65 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 27/100 (based on 9,057 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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Sarah: If I were you I'd watch out, new girl.
Dr. Stringer: What's the first thing you remember?
Kristen: Look at me!
Sarah: Sorry, I don't converse with loonies.
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://theward.theofficialjohncarpenter.com/