“The Ward” is being brought to us by John Carpenter and the clips I have seen gave me the creeps.
Amber Heard (“Drive Angry 3D,” “‘Zombieland,” “‘Pineapple Express”) plays Kristen who goes searching for her friend Emily in one clip, only to find someone or something else trying to escape. That particular scene had me biting my nails and will, I’m sure, have me covering my eyes when I see the whole film for a couple of reasons.
First off, when Kristen initially examines the room she is entering, she does so by peering through one of those small screened windows that sits about eye level on the door. A limited view, with potential for a “jump” moments, always leaves an audience anxious. Reason No. 2 why this scene had my volume all the way down whilst watching: whatever is trying to escape is trying to escape from what looks to be one of those body refrigerators. And it doesn’t much help that the clip ends right as Kristen is opening the door!
The second clip I watched impressed me far less. It was so reminiscent of “Girl Interrupted” — like, seriously, is that the same set? The character spectrum, and even the nature of the conversation going on between the characters, resembles “Girl Interrupted” so much that I personally couldn’t focus on anything but the similarities. Big put off for me. I am always looking for original and unique material, that’s what really gets me excited — especially when it comes to this type of movie. Maybe I’m being a tad over-critical, but in my defense, “Girl Interrupted” came out when I was in high school and it was seriously the most watched movie around campus. Teenage girls couldn’t get enough, so I have seen that particular flick too many times to count and can spot any resemblance to it a mile away.
Showers, oh how they frighten me. We all have “Psycho” to thanks for that, of course. Steam creates a visual barrier, which lets us see through the character’s eyes. What we cannot see scares us, but when we can kind of see, and know there’s something there but can’t put it in focus, that’s even scarier. But what caught my attention in this particular scene, was the music. It sounds like creepy children sort of laugh-singing at the character. That eerie music builds up the angst, you know it’s coming, you don’t know exactly what, but you know it’s something.
I keep going back to visuals here, something blocking your view or having a very limited view, that’s scary to me. In one clip, Kristen is laying in bed, it’s dark, there’s thunder and rain, and once again, the small screen window on a door comes into play. Something sweeps by the door and matched up perfectly with some musical cues, it is quite effective. It may seem repetitive, but for me, it doesn’t matter because it still makes me jump. Even though I know it’s coming, obviously when you are watching a scary movie, you are aware that for all purposes and intents, the filmmakers are trying to get you to jump!
I enjoyed these clips and I only hope that these moments aren’t the pinnacle of scary in the film. If those are the scariest parts than there’s really no need to watch the film. It happens more and more these days where trailers and tid-bits from films that are released, contain the best scenes or important plot points. Not cool for film fanatics!
Starring Amber Heard, Danielle Panabaker, Mika Boorem, Lyndsy Fonseca and Jared Harris, “The Ward” will be released on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on May 16.
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