John Carpenter should probably be on the Mount Rushmore of horror directors. Of course, if we had all the Mount Rushmores people suggested we had they would lose their novelty pretty fast and our country might be hard to navigate with all of the giant mountain sculptures around. Anyway that is beside the point. Just based on Halloween alone, Carpenter permanently cast his reputation as a bad-ass. That is why I was excited to see The Ward pop-up on the Netflix the other day. I hadn’t really heard of the film, but once I saw Carpenters name attached as director I knew it was perfect for this October film project.
The Ward is a good solid little movie. I would put in the thriller/mystery category before horror, but it does have a supernatural killer so I can see that placement. The plot is pretty good. Smarter viewers might find the ending twist fairly obvious, but Lesley(who saw it coming first) only got it with about 10 minutes to go. The actresses are all good. Can’t really complain about a film that features all young pretty actresses. I can’t decide if Mamie Gummer was a bit too much or not. I have a really hard time judging acting, and usual rely on my gut instinct. I guess the disappointing aspect of the film was the lack of John Carpenterness. It was well designed and shot, but didn’t have the same look and feel as his classic works like Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13, and The Thing. The story accounts for a lot of that, but I was just a little bummed not to see the same kind of realistic suspense that marked so many of his early work. I guess maybe that’s why its called his “early work” and not just “work”. He’s not going to break out the long static shots, creepy synth music, and random violence when the story doesn’t call for it, but I wish he could find a project that did.