Thursday, February 4, 2010

Psycho Ward

Psycho Ward 2007
Director: Patrick McBrearty
Writer: Christopher Lee Thompson
Starring Jaqueline Bettis, Bobby Horvath, Liam Card, Tim Clark, Sandy Lai, Nicole Brown, Nick Montgomery, Sabrina Couture, Eva Redpath, Ryan Barrett and Jim Kosmenko

Psycho Ward is yet another addition to the interminable list of low budget DTV horror films that Lionsgate seems to glut the shelves with. And this is by far one of the worst ones I have ever had the displeasure of watching. This is a film that rips off many great horror films, and quite badly I might add. The film has shades of See None Evil, Saw and Session 9 just to name a few. The film really has no likable or sympathetic characters and after I was finished viewing the film, I thought what was the whole point of this film. The whole exercise is pointless, especially when they make this big deal of the final girl making out of the asylum and yet she still loses. It seems to me that they were breaking one of the cardinal rules of the slasher film. You really need one girl to survive or the entire crux of the chase and conflict of the film is rather pointless. The one thing good I can say about the film is the kills and the gore scenes were pretty good. But overall this is by far one of the worst horror films I have seen in awhile.
The plot basics are this, a group of college students are on a research outing and are planning on doing a documentary on the sordid history of a long closed psychiatric ward. They plan on studying and examining the area where some supposed urban legends took place. Little do they know though is that one of the residents (Kosmenko) of the ward still resides there. They somehow get lost and locked inside the asylum and are randomly picked off one by one. Soon, there are only 2 survivors, Professor Richard Magellan (Card) and a member of his filming crew, Lisa (Bettis) and now they have to use their wits and ingenuity to evade the maniac and to try to find a way out of the nightmare that they have become embroiled in.
This is a really poorly done film. The direction by McBrearty is really shoddy, as he has no style of his own and just tries to ape films like Saw and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes. The use of filming the proceedings too reminds me of Blair Witch Project and by comparison that film is now Citizen Kane. The script is not much better. It has the standard tropes of a slasher film, but there are really no characters that the viewer can grasp and side with. They are all annoying and forgettable caricatures. The killer you do not see much of and he has no discernable mannerisms that make him any different form any other number of would be slasher villains. The worst transgression of the script though, is the ending it was just a shoddy and poorly framed ending and by the time you get to that point, it is like who really fucking cares anymore. The cast does not fare much better. Bettis does a decent job as Lisa, but she really doesn't have much to work with. Basically all that is required of her is to run and scream a lot and too look fetching in a tight T-shirt. Card as the heroic lead tries to put up a good front but his acting style makes William Shatner look restrained. Kosmansky as Darrell Coombs does a decent job as the killer though, he really puts no defining mannerisms into the character, all he does is portray yet another hulking and lumbering brute. The SFX and effects in the film are the only shining star of the film. The blood flows copiously and they do not shy away from having the camera leer at it. The best example is when Sandy Lai is ripped apart and guts fly everywhere. It was a nice touch, but was too little too late for this travesty of a film. If there is one thing I can say to all horror fans out there, avoid this film like it was the fucking bubonic plague.
This one gets 1 out of 5

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