The Ward Directed by: John Carpenter Starring: Amber Heard, Danielle Panabaker, Jared Harris Rating: NR Release Date: TBA 2011
TRAILER SCORE: 6/10
MY THOUGHTS: If we're callin' 'em like we see'em, then it looks like John Carpenter might be able to make me forget that Ghosts of Mars ever happened. Now that's a big "might" but anything's better than Ice Cube, right? The trailer starts out pretty strong. It establishes a tone and a certain moodiness that seems reminiscent of classic ghost stories. Unfortunately, about halfway through, it falls prey to modern day horror sensibilities. All of the subtlety is abandoned for cheap scare tactics, most of which are pretty ineffective. I mean, seriously, how many quick cuts between silent girl to screaming girl can you incorporate in one trailer? I think the probably is when John Carpenter proudly stamps his name on every movie he puts out, it becomes difficult to divorce his past failures from his new stuff. Sure, as the trailer points out, this is the man who brought us Halloween before Rob Zombie massacred it, but this is also the same guy who cast Kirstie Alley as a doctor. I get it, every director has their off days, but considering his last "substantial" contribution to the movie biz is Ghosts of Mars, I can't help but wonder how long he'll ride the coattails of his more successful efforts. Still, I have hope for The Ward to at least have some creepy atmospheric moments, without gorging itself on special effects ghosts. Besides, if Amber Heard turns in a performance anywhere near her role in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, there's a chance that Carpenter's abandonment of his "less is more" tactics might be forgivable.