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Film / The Ward

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Only sanity can keep you alive.

A 2010 horror film directed by John Carpenter, starring Amber Heard, Danielle Panabaker, Lyndsy Fonseca and Jared Harris.

After burning down an abandoned house, a young woman named Kristen is taken to a psychiatric hospital, where she is placed into a specific ward with other disturbed girls. She then soon learns that they're being haunted by a ghost who wants to kill them all.

This film has examples of:

  • The '60s: The film is set in the year 1966.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Deciding to search for the missing Iris during the night, Kristen and Emily use a ventilation shaft to get out of the ward, which is conveniently big enough to crawl through.
  • Alice Allusion: The film is a story set in an insane asylum with a toy rabbit as a plot point, and has Alice as the name of the ghost.
  • Asshole Victim: Sarah gets killed to the grief of no one, given her Alpha Bitch status.
  • Bedlam House: Played with. It's hard to tell if the titular ward is actually an example or just the result of the protagonist's insanity (she does do a few things that could warrant a certain amount of brutality). Also it's hard to say if the real horror is the staff or the ghost that's supposedly killing the patients one by one.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The man and woman (called "the sad people" by Emily) that Kristen notices looking at her and the other girls during an outing. They are the parents of Alice, hoping that their daughter will someday overcome her multiple personality disorder.
  • Destination Defenestration: Alice attacks Kristen in Dr. Stringer's office, and they both end up crashing through a window. This, combined with The Reveal from Dr. Stringer, helps Alice to overcome her multiple personality disorder. Well, mostly.
  • Eye Scream: Iris disappears from Dr. Stringer's office after a session, and is taken to an empty operating room where she gets a needle jammed into her eyesocket.
  • High-Voltage Death: Sarah is captured by Alice's ghost, and she's taken to the electric shock therapy room, where she's strapped down and electrocuted to death.
  • Ironic Echo: Roy the orderly says "Sleep tight, sugar" to Kristen after she's left in her room in a straight-jacket for the night. She later throws these words back at him before knocking him out temporarily.
  • Mirror Scare:
    • After an argument with Emily, Sarah storms off. She then decides to take a quick look into her mirror. She sees Alice behind her in the reflection, and tries to hide from her.
    • A variation happens in the ending. The supposedly cured Alice opens a mirror cabinet, only to be attacked by Kristen.
  • Neck Lift: In the opening, something comes into the room of Tammy, one of the girls in the ward, and she gets lifted in the air by her neck from behind. Her neck then gets snapped.
  • The Place: All the haunted girls are placed in a section of the psychiatric hospital simply called the ward.
  • The Reveal: When Kristen confronts Dr. Stringer about the ghost of Alice and the deaths of the other girls, he tells her that she actually is Alice, or rather, a Split Personality of her. Kristen, and all the other girls in the ward are actually side personalities created by Alice due to a trauma of being kidnapped and abused, and Alice's "ghost" is her trying to regain control of her own body by getting rid off of the other personalities.
  • Shower Scene: Kristen has her first face to face contact with Alice when she grabs her by throat in the shower room.
  • Slashed Throat: Afraid of Alice's ghost, Emily tries to slit her wrist with a scalpel. The ghost then suddenly appears behind her, and slits her throat.
  • Stealth Pun: The fact that the above Eye Scream example happens to a character named Iris - the iris also happens to be the name of part of the eye.