Haunted mental asylum. What could be a better setting for a horror film? You've got crazy people, you've got nasty and mean orderlies and nurses, you've got electroshock, and then, hell, why not throw in a freaking ghost! Is it possible to get this formula wrong? In the case of The Ward... yes. Yes, it is.
The Ward didn't get a big release and as far as I can tell, it didn't really get that much attention. This being John Carpenter's first feature length film since 2001's Ghost of Mars, that surprises me. But while watching this movie, I gotta say that I couldn't even tell that Carpenter directed it. On the whole, the film is pretty run-of-the-mill and mediocre, and the ending is enough to put off pretty much everyone who sees it. I'm not saying that the film wasn't watchable - the acting was quite good and there's always the fun suspense of finding out the mystery behind the haunting.
The ghost lover in me was immensely disappointed here. The cliched scares were all wildly obvious and never got a jump out of me. The movie is perhaps not as haunted as I'd like it to be and Carpenter tries to give us some creepy visions of the ghost, but frankly, it was all stuff we've seen before. The only interesting part was the increasingly revealing vision of the little girl chained up in a basement.
And the ending. Like I said before, I'm sure this is the element that ruined the movie for most people, and I gotta say, I might be one of them. So with this movie we're promised some spooky ghost story and all, but that starts to come into question with some of the scenes involving the ghost. Sure, she looks all ghostly and dead and stuff, but the things she is able to do get weirder and weirder and definitely less ghost-like. She is able to physically touch people, murder them, and somehow Kristen is able to plunge an axe into her chest. Hmmm, something is amiss here.
The Ward is not a bad movie if you want to pass a few hours, but to me it was nothing special and not something I'm clamoring to see again any time soon.