At this past year's Toronto International Film Festival, legendary horror director John Carpenter made his return to the director's chair with The Ward, a film about a young woman who is being menaced by a ghost inside of a mental institution. Until The Ward, Carpenter hadn't directed a film since 2001's Ghost of Mars.
Today we've got the first full-length trailer for the upcoming film.
So, was The Ward a triumphant return to form for the 62-year-old director? Unfortunately, according to early reviews, the answer was no. The film, which features emerging star Amber Heard alongside Lyndsy Fonseca, Danielle Panabaker, and other young beauties, was criticized for being contrived and (worst of all) not scary.
Perhaps due to the film's poor critical showing, The Ward has yet to secure distribution rights in the United States. The movie will be distributed in the UK, however, which is why all those who didn't make it to TIFF finally get to see a good look at the film - thanks to this new trailer.
Check out the full-length trailer for The Ward below, and make up your own mind about whether or not the film looks promising. I'll throw in my two cents after the trailer.
In my opinion, based on his exceptional track record from the 1970s and 1980s, Carpenter is one of the elite few filmmakers that deserves to be called a "Master of Horror." I mean, the guy is responsible for Halloween, the archetype for all modern slasher films (and a movie that still freaks me out).
However, there are a few odd choices in the trailer for The Ward. For one thing, there are too many jump scares. If I could decree one movie rule, it might be to require that horror filmmakers can use no more than three jump scares. If you feel worn out by the jump scares in the trailer, it's easy to imagine you're probably not going to enjoy them in the movie.
Another thing is the institutional setting itself. Movies with "crazy" characters tend to have predictable twists. I hope this is not the case for The Ward, but I wouldn't be surprised. Also, I may be biased by the gorgeously realized institutional setting in Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch.
Let us know what you think in the comments.