Owen Gleiberman
June 27, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Ward

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
88 minutes
Limited Release Date
07/08/11
performer
Jared Harris, Amber Heard
distributor
Arc Entertainment
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Horror

We gave it an B-

It’s been a while since John Carpenter directed a movie. (The last one was 2001’s Ghosts of Mars.) While he does bring his trademark craftsmanship to this snake-pit mental-asylum thriller, the picture has too many old-movie bits rattling around in it. It’s set in the ’60s and stars Amber Heard (looking out of period) as a fire starter who lands in a ward with half a dozen other demented teenage girls. Basically, this is a ghost story merged with a slasher film and sealed with a Shutter Island twist. But at least Carpenter the spook-meister knows how to goose you. B?

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