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Bad Movie Tuesday: The Ward

October 25, 2011

John Carpenter has made some of the great horror films of all time. The Thing, They Live, Halloween and Assault on Precinct 13.

The Ward is not a classic. It isn’t even so bad it is a classic. John Carpenter has not been doing himself any favors as of late. Ghost of Mars, Vampires, Village of the Dammed, Escape from LA and the Master’s of Horror stuff have been painfully bad.

The Ward  keeps this impressive streak of bad films alive. The film centers around young ladies in an insane asylum being hunted down by an angry ghost. This ghost attacks at night and nobody seems to notice. Girls go missing, ghosts pop up behind you at the most inopportune times and women still corner themselves in tiny elevators..

This movie feels like an old boxer coming back into the ring for one last fight. He still has the skills, the jab is crisp. the hook is technically sound. However, he is old and the younger fighter has learned all of his tricks and found ways to update them to this day and age. The younger fighter will never be able to recreate the veterans fighters past accomplishments but the fight will still look like this.

Carpenter gave it his best shot he hasn’t adapted his skills to this day and age.  He  isn’t able to create any tension, jumps, scares or memorable characters. This is a man who has directed some of the best moments of horror history and now he can’t create thrills.

The funniest part of this film comes at the end. The ghost is chasing Amber Heard around and throwing her all around the hospital. No punches, chokes or hair pulling. The ghost grabs Amber and throws her into walls, carts, desks, glass and everything else in the hospital. I’ve always wondered why bad guys throw their victims far away from them. If I was beating somebody up I wouldn’t throw them thirty feet away so they can have time to grab an axe.

A ghost ceases to be scary when all she does is throw people around. It is not very intimidating. Some ghosts/demons make you puke pea soup or swear in creative ways. This ghost just wants to throw you around. I would love to see what the ghost could have done to DJ Jazzy Jeff on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He would have flown through that door.

There is a current trend in the horror movie community. The horror movies are not scary. I’m hoping this trend doesn’t stick. I’m thinking it will be like all the Speed, Clerks and Pulp Fiction knock offs that plagued the cinemas in the 90s. These films ran their course and I’m hoping this is the case.

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