[Carpenter] plays impressionistic games with the footage, drifting through multiple timelines the way he likes to glide through interiors. He had been away from feature filmmaking for a long time, but hadn't lost any of his fascination with how movies are constructed. His elation at once more sitting behind the director's chair is palpable. Times had changed since Carpenter's heyday, but his ability to sculpt something unforgettable from just a few actors and a single set hadn't aged a day.
Like a lot of Carpenter's films, "The Ward" is long on atmosphere and menacing mood and not tremendously interested in plot. It's worth seeing just for the patented Carpenter stylistic flourishes: the rock-solid, old-school-Hollywood framing; the prowling camerawork that might or might not take the point-of-view of a malevolent being; the droning, hypnotic music; the oddly timed but always welcome bursts of humor and music.