THE WARD (2010) Reviews and overview


The Ward is a 2010 American psychological horror feature film directed by John Carpenter from a screenplay by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen. The movie stars Amber Heard, Danielle Panabaker, Mika Boorem, and Jared Harris.

The story revolves around a young institutionalised woman named Kristen (Amber Heard) who is haunted by a mysterious and deadly zombie/ghost. As danger creeps closer, she comes to realise that this zombie might be darker than anything she ever could have imagined…

The Ward was John Carpenter’s first full-length feature film since Ghosts of Mars in 2001.


“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. Basically, this is a ghost story merged with a slasher film and sealed with a Shutter Island twist.” Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

“The denouement is visible from a distance; a shame if you recall how expertly Carpenter unleashed the powerful climaxes of The Thing et al. Still, it’s a well-made film, with some finely crafted shocks and a steady pace that almost seems stately in these days of fast-cut horror.” Philem O’Neill, The Guardian

“There’s nothing here that really grabs you by the throat and sends chills down your spine. Instead, it’s content to simply tell a pretty straight-forward ghost story bolstered by Carpenter’s trademark mastery of the widescreen frame and some engaging performances…” Home Cinema Choice

Cast and characters:

Amber Heard … Kristen
Mamie Gummer … Emily
Danielle Panabaker … Sarah
Laura-Leigh … Zoey
Lyndsy Fonseca … Iris
Mika Boorem … Alice
Jared Harris … Doctor Gerald Stringer
Sali Sayler … Tammy
Susanna Burney … Nurse Lundt
D.R. Anderson … Roy (as Dan Anderson)
Sean Cook … Jimmy
Jillian Kramer … Ghost Alice
Mark Chamberlin … Mr Hudson
Andrea Petty … Mrs Hudson (as Andrea L. Petty)
Tracy Schornick … Cop #1 (as Tracey Schornick)

Filming locations:

Shot on location at the Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake, Washington

Technical details:

89 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35: 1
Audio: Dolby Digital

Box office:

Budget:$10,000,000 (estimated)
Worldwide box office: $5,343,820


New and future releases