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Directed by Directed by Patrick McBrearty
Written by Written by Christopher Lee Thompson
Starring Starring Jacqueline Betts, Bobby Horvath, Liam Card, Jim Kosmenko
Produced by Produced by Patrick McBrearty, Harpreet Bassi, Jeff Neiman, Jim Kosmenko
Ah, abandoned prisons. Clandestine party spot, raging kegger central, horror movie setting since time immemorial and of course, killing spree central. And that’s the central theme behind today’s horror movie spectacular, Psycho Ward.
Psycho Ward features a group of young people off to do a documentary about an abandoned prison, and some of the stuff that’s gone on there. But to their surprise, the prison isn’t quite so abandoned. In fact, it’s currently the domain of a massive, obese serial killer. And he will, not surprisingly, run amok on literally everybody he finds.
The end result is a scary, if somewhat standard, sort of slasher flick that combines all the greatest survival horror elements of a normal slasher flick and adds on the sheer creepy factor that is doing it all in a comparatively small space.
However, it is sort of a low blow that urbanstudd.com, which they advertise relentlessly in the movie, is NOT an actual web site. Oh, and when someone gets three nails jammed into their hand that’s not usually a call for a surly grunt. But then, this kind of thing has been going on in slasher movies since time immemorial, and can usually be chalked up to using a bunch of not-ready-for-prime-time players as actors. They’re fairly decent, as actors go, but they’ll never be mistaken for, you know, actual professionals. Even if they’re getting paid, which they likely are, they’re still not in the same caliber as, say, a lot of the folks you might see in theatrical horror releases.
The ending is a terminal downer on a patently epic scale. There’s just no other way to describe it. But I admit that the end credits are pretty nice.
The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, and trailers for Death Warrior, Shattered Lives, Summer’s Moon, the second Ghost House Underground collection (The Thaw, The Children, Offspring and Seventh Moon), an ad for Break.com and Fearnet.com, and Psycho Ward.
All in all, Psycho Ward is a bit—oh hell, a LOT—on the pedestrian side, but it’s actually a pretty good example of the concept. It’s a meatloaf movie, but it’s certainly one of the better meatloaf movies I’ve had lately. It won’t be mistaken for anything big, nor is it on the same level as, say, an After Dark Horrorfest title, but it’s certainly a decent quality piece that will do the job and do it passably well.
Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.
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