THE PACT (2012) Review

Directed by: Nicholas McCarthy
Starring: Caity Lotz, Casper Van Dien, Haley Hudson

You'll want to ignore the cries of 'scariest movie of the year' and all the rest because rest assured this is most definitely not a scary film. Also if you've seen the trailer then you might want to try and forget about that too, because from the way this movie has been marketed I can see a lot of people being mislead and therefore disappointed. But despite the fact (or perhaps because of it) that THE PACT doesn't play out quite how you might expect, it's actually quite an interesting film.

The film begins with two sisters - Nichole and Anna (Lotz) - having a heated phone discussion regarding their recently deceased mother's funeral. It seems that they have been estranged from their mother for quite some time and they both have conflicting feelings towards her. Anna travels to the mother's house to meet up with Nichole but by the time she arrives it seems that Nichole is missing and hasn't been seen for a couple of days.
Before long strange things begin happening around the house - weird noises, flickering lights etc - and then there is another disappearance. This time it is Anna's cousin Liz.
Anna flees the house with Nichole's daughter and heads to the police station where she meets officer Bill Creek (Van Dien). Together they try and unravel the mystery surrounding the house, and what they find is terribly surprising indeed.

THE PACT starts out as your average haunted house flick. Flickering lights, shadowy figures, items falling from shelves seemingly of their own volition and all of that standard fare. But it soon morphs into more of a mystery as it becomes apparent that there is more than meets the eye here. It is a very slow movie to begin with as we follow Anna inside the house, but thankfully as soon as some supernatural stuff starts to happen, she is smart enough to get the fuck out of that house as soon as she can. Obviously she is going to have to return to the house sooner or later, but even when she does she at least makes sure that she has a police officer with her. There are still a few of those 'why the hell would you even do that?' moments but far less than you would normally find.

I was surprised at how good the level of acting was in THE PACT, in particularly Caity Lotz's performance. This is very important because a significant chunk of the film is spent alone with her.
I did mention earlier that this isn't a scary movie, which isn't entirely correct. Some people will definitely find some frights here, but for veteran horror fans there is a whole lot of other scarier flicks out there and most will find this a bit ho-hum. THE PACT makes good use of tension but it does also throw in some sudden jump scares as well. The musical score is brilliant and adds to the creepy atmosphere. Unfortunately the same can't be said about the writing, and some of the editing is also questionable. Too many long fade to black screens are used - perhaps to fill out the running time.
It's also worth mentioning that the pact in the title seems to be strangely non-existent.

SCARY? Casual movie-goers will find some scares here but for hardened horror veterans you might want to find your frights somewhere else.

SHOCKING? Not shocking exactly, but there is at least a clever twist that you may not expect.

SEXY? Caity Lotz is definitely easy on the eye but in terms of sex, nudity etc. there is nothing.


SO, WHAT'S THE VERDICT? Not your average supernatural ghost flick, THE PACT is a slow starter but is worth sticking it out to the end. Not essential viewing but I recommend checking it out.

No comments:

Post a Comment