- Associated Press - Friday, June 24, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The creator of Michael Myers and “Halloween” is returning to horror after a 10-year hiatus.

John Carpenter is back to his beloved genre with “The Ward,” opening July 8.

The film stars Amber Heard as woman who finds herself in a mysterious mental institution in the 1960s with no memory of her life before.

Carpenter, 63, calls it “a character study.”

“It was the first feature opportunity that I had since 2001,” he says. “It was a limited vision, a limited location, and limited cast. It was something I could do and thought it would be a lot of fun.”

He took a break from filmmaking after 2001’s “Ghosts of Mars,” saying he was “burned out.”

“I was really tired from making movies,” he says. “I thought, `I got to stop for a while. I can’t do this anymore.’ And the public agreed with me, `Stop.’”

But he couldn’t stay stopped. He was drawn back to telling stories on the big screen and to horror, which he calls “a universal emotion that we all feel.”

“Every person in every country, every human being alive feels, has the same fears. We all are brothers and sisters together in fear,” he says. “Horror crosses international boundaries in terms of an audience. Sometimes comedy doesn’t travel. Sometimes other dramas don’t travel, they don’t translate. But horror, fear does.”

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AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report.