Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Ward

A young woman dressed only in a slip running through a wooded area comes across a farmhouse she sets on fire. She's captured and brought to an insane asylum because it's the 1960's which makes it spookier. Director John Carpenter returns after a long feature film hiatus to the old school formula of the classic campfire scary horror story from a screenplay by Michael Rasmussen and Shawn Rasmussen.

DIFF Shinning Star Award recipient of 2010 Amber Heard plays Kristen a troubled young woman who is put in The Ward by Dr. Stringer (Jared Harris) who is trying a particular type of experimental therapy. Kristen insists she is not crazy but has lost her memory and is suspicious of Dr. Stringer and the Nurse Ratchet types that are in charge. In the ward she meets Emily (Mamie Gummer), Sarah (Danielle Panabaker), Zoey (Laura-Leigh) and Iris (Lyndsy Fonseca). There's a whole “Girl Interupted” mode going on with the weird dynamic of the characters feeding off each other. The first night she is there the nurse erases the name Tammy from the board and gives Kristen her room. While she is sleeping, the blanket is pulled from her bed and Kristen finds a broken charm bracelet that spells Alice on the floor. Kristen starts to see a disfigured figure staring at her through her door window. Then she is attacked by it when she's in the shower. This only gets her more drugs and electroshock therapy. Things really start going amiss when one by one the patients are taken out by this ghostly creature who seems to know her way around lobotomy tools.

Carpenter has created such classics as Escape from New York, Halloween, Vampires, Dark Star, Star Man and The Thing hasn't done a feature film since the poorly received Ghost of Mars in 2001. The Ward is a welcome return, but doesn't have the same spark that made the other films remain in our collective film memory. The Ward looks really good set in a run down institutional gray rooms and dark corridors with young women dressed in drab hospital gowns give the promise of something creepy going on. Heard is attractive is able to play the woman in distress with strength and fear so you can relate to her dilemma. If they only hadn't completely revealed the bump in the night. The ghost that haunts just looks like a poor Halloween party make up job that doesn't quite scare. The mysterious deaths seem repetitive and not particularly scary. Yes there's a twist at the end that you will probably figure out by the last act. It's worth seeing just because it's a John Carpenter film.
(Review by reesa)

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