The Pact (2012) Poster

(II) (2012)

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Fun and scary, with a great lead performance. Worth checking out!
stsinger2 June 2012
"The Pact" is a treat for fans of this type of horror/thriller film. The basic plot seems simple enough -- a young woman's sister convinces her to come back for their mother's funeral, despite the fact that the two sisters were estranged from their mother for a while. When she comes back, her sister is gone, and strange, supernatural things begin to happen...

"The Pact" has a lot going for it. First of all, there is no forced romance to make us roll our eyes. Secondly, the lead character behaves like you'd expect a person to behave! When weird things start happening, she books out of the house. When she has to go back, she brings a policeman. When she gets in danger, she screams and flails and kicks. There are still some "Why is she doing that?" sequences, but a LOT less than usual in this type of film. And finally, NO IDIOTIC TWIST ENDING THAT MAKES NO SENSE BASED ON THE REST OF THE MOVIE!

But the best thing this film has going for it is Caity Lotz. The best part, by far, of MTV's cool but sadly departed "Death Valley," Caity is very easy on the eyes and she really shines in this role -- it's a virtuoso performance. And it needed to be -- a good portion of the film is her alone, so the entire film is on her shoulders and she carries it off. Very impressive, and I hope we get to see more of her in the future.

The film is not perfect -- a major plot is given away in a serious "deus ex machina" moment, there are some plot holes that the movie ignores, and I'm still not totally sure what the very last shot of the film is supposed to mean (maybe it will be explained when the DVD is released). But there is WAAAAY more good than bad, and it's worth seeing and supporting.
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Very scary and well put together
dld20128 July 2012
This movie has gotten a lot of terrible reviews here, so I feel the need to add another positive one. If you love horror movies and don't confuse "gory" with "scary" - and if everything doesn't have to be spelled out for you in an unrealistic expository scene - don't miss this gem.

Most horror movies either insult the audience a little by over-explaining, or they leave many elements simply unexplained (which can be a plus too.) This one actually gives you all the clues you need to put it together and get the answers. Really, it's all there - if you are observant, you don't need the characters to spell it out for you. I found the characters and dialog very believable (for a horror film, of course.) And a HUGE plus - no fake scares. Plenty of real ones. My boyfriend screamed out loud once, and I don't think I've ever heard him do that. I give it 8/10 because while I'm not likely to put it in my top ten films of all time, it was an immensely entertaining movie.
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A Very Well-Done Low Budget Horror Film
BobbyGuerrieri12 November 2012
Written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy, "The Pact" stars Caity Lotz as Annie, a young woman who returns to her childhood home following the death of her mother. Her sister and cousin have disappeared and it appears that there is some supernatural entity inhabiting the house. As Annie digs deeper, she learns of a serial killer whose last victim may have had some kind of connection to her mother. Annie begins putting the information together, revealing shocking and terrifying secrets.

Sound clichéd? Well believe me, it's not. What starts out as your typical run-of-the-mill haunted house film becomes one of the most intriguing and horrifying horror movies of the year. Not many movies scare me half as badly as "The Pact" did. I can tell you honestly that this film messed with my head and left me fearing my own house.

Caity Lotz does a great acting job, especially since she has such little dialogue. She really gets her feelings across by body movement and facial expressions. Another actress who really stands out is Haley Hudson, who plays Stevie, Annie's friend who just happens to be able to contact the dead. It is her character that scared me the most.

The movie also has some very good cinematography, especially when Annie walking throughout the house. Rather than constantly cut to new angle every time she turns a corner, the camera follows her with one continuous shot, immensely adding to the suspense.

The best part about the movie is that it doesn't assume that the audience is stupid. One of my least favorite things is when all questions are answered by the characters talking to themselves, or even to other characters. In "The Pact" the audience is given the information, and we are required to put it together ourselves. I have seen the movie twice now and certainly picked up on some small things that I missed in my first viewing.

The final plot surprise terrified me and I definitely won't forget it anytime soon. I didn't care for the very end (as in the closing shot), but it didn't ruin the whole movie for me.

Overall, "The Pact" is one of the scariest movies this year and a very well done horror movie. Not many low-budget horror movies are able to maintain the constant level of suspense that "The Pact" did. I highly recommend this to any horror fan. "The Pact" is currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming.
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Highly underrated, should be at least 6.5 rating.
kuronox22 January 2013
Okay, sure, it's not a groundbreaking horror film (what is nowadays?), but I found myself enjoying it. I usually don't watch films below a 6.0 IMDb rating (yeah, yeah, I'm a ratings wh***, shut up). But I was really in the mood for a horror movie and decided to give this a try. Yeah, it's a traditional story and somewhat predictable, but the modern "offbeat" characters kept it interesting. I agree with the user that says it starts off a bit weak/slow, but the rest of the story kept me intrigued. I've seen (modern) horror movies that are far worse than this that have higher ratings so give it a try if you enjoy modern horror.
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Brilliant movie, for lovers of quality, not for mindless popcorn movie people
poetryminstrell28 October 2012
This film is simply superb, no matter what your average 17 year old blockbuster movie viewers say about this classic horror gem.

First of all, the cinematography is simply wonderful. It has very nice camera work, using unusual angles, and it shows us a great editing of the filmed scenes.

Second, the pacing of this film is consistent, and suspenseful. It builds up, as it should, by the start of our story, then adding the exact amount of information and depth to the storyline and characters, to leave the viewer with an eerie sense of unease, along with a need to find out what's going to happen next.

There are scenes with absolutely no score, giving this film a classic 70's feel, but when there's a score it's scary violins and cello's. Another thing which adds to the mood of this gem.

the lead actress Caity Lotz is doing a wonderful job in my honest opinion, playing the role of a victim of domestic abuse. The abuse, which is supposed to have happened when she and her sister grew up at their mothers house as children, isn't explained to the letter. I loved this, because it leaves the viewer use his/her imagination as to what horrors they went through. I can understand the low ratings, since nowadays people only get to see (or are only able to understand) simple movies, which are sure to make millions by using a simpleton movie formula. This movie doesn't go down that path. It invokes you to get involved, and figure stuff out for yourself, like films used to do before box office money was the only thing involved in making movies.

Casper van Dien was a nice surprise to see. The man proves he can do more than his career prior to this movie led you to believe.

To wrap things up, here's my personal account of watching this movie. It scared the hell out of me at times, it gave me goosebumps, and it took me on a ride of wanting to find out what the hell was going on. Being a fan of horror movies (in the broadest sense of the genre), I absolutely loved this film.

If you like movies made that call upon your intelligence, empathy and emotions....this film is for you.

If you like mindless-sure-thing-Hollywood-blockbuster, then pass this one because you're not equipped to appreciate this movie.

9 out of 10
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Underrated indie horror gem and my favourite horror film of the year
Boris_Day28 October 2012
When I rented this I thought that for some reason this is part of the recent, underwhelming wave of exorcism films. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this features no Catholic propaganda and biblical incantations and after having watched The Pact twice now (the second time with a group of friends who all really liked it), I regard it as the best horror film I've seen this year.

The Pact doesn't re-invent the wheel, it is a fairly traditional ghost story (with touches of MR James and J-horror in its use of "haunted technology"), but it is the best directed horror film I've seen this year. The cinematography is always inventive without being flashy, establishing a real sense of place, important for any haunted house film. It also has fantastic sound design. The film avoids cheap jump scares to build a slow burning atmosphere of genuine dread. While neither weird nor surreal, the way the film generates scares reminded me more of David Lynch, than the cheap shock tactics you usually get in this type of film. I saw Lynch especially in the way a character gets swallowed up by the darkness behind a door. A scene set to a deafening rock music drone is reminiscent of a sequence from Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.

After the rather poor period haunted house films I've seen recently (The Woman in Black, The Awakening), which rely on all the clichés of the genre (dolls upon creepy dolls, ghostly children in white make up failing to look scary) I loved how this was set in an impoverished, modern blue collar town in the US. The house itself looks just slightly 'off' with a 'wrong' layout and subtly oppressive wallpaper, instead of being decorated like amusement park ghost ride.

The way the mystery slowly unfolds is cleverly handled and satisfying (and really quite creepy when you think about it). This makes for a great re-watch, when I picked up on a lot of hints and details that I missed first time round.

I'd never heard of lead actress Caity Lotz before. Playing a character who is tough on the outside but also quite vulnerable due to a traumatic past, she did a fantastic job anchoring the film emotionally. The fragile looking actress who plays the role of the medium you often get in haunted house films (here seemingly recruited from a crack den) looks and gives a performance that is genuinely disturbing. I had not seen Casper Van Dien in anything since Sleepy Hollow. His "He-Man" face always struck me as slightly comical, but he is fine as a sympathetic cop, looking a little more grizzled than in his Starship Trooper days

In some ways the film is reminiscent of the Kevin Bacon starring Stir of Echoes from the 90s, but I think this does a better job with similar material.

The Pact is only let down by the 'blah' title and awful promotional art, which looks like the dated looking CGI spook from The Frighteners, a visual that doesn't appear anywhere in the film.
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The Pact is a good movie undecided about it's genre
Alex Vojacek1 September 2012
Just for clarification, I started to see this movie on a Saturday night, almost asleep and exhausted so, you can pretty much see that my expectations were not so high, in fact, The Pact started slow and I was almost done for in the first minutes.

But, even when the premise was done and re-done a thousand times, the movie somewhat got my attention, enough to watch it till the end.

The pact focus on 3 sisters that got a bad deal in their childhood due to an abusive mother, so, the movie start with them and slowly develops into a one-girl deal. Almost the entire movie is focused on Annie, acted by the beautiful Caity Lotz, one of the sisters in search of the truth about their past. This could be somewhat a mistake if the movie didn't knew how to handle the situation, but, in this case, having only one primary character and almost no development of other characters makes the movie more interesting since she does a beautiful job on screen. Make no mistake, this is not a dialog movie, the majority of scenes happens in silence, which is great since the objective is to capture the look and feel of our main character and I must say that it worked, at least for me.

The storyline is incredible simple but contrary to other movies that fail miserably, in this one it works and works because the movie relies on images more than anything.

It's not a perfect movie for it had it's flaws but the result gave a positive outcome to all this, plus Caity Lotz is gorgeous on this movie, a nice and fresh look to see on screen.

The Pact is a movie undecided of it's genre, a mix of suspense/horror with paranormal and thriller... The Pact does contain a little piece of each genre and does avoid the obvious clichés which is a nice welcome.

Balanced acting, a lot of suspense, almost no horror and some paranormal into the mix makes this movie somewhat a nice touch for a Saturday night if your expectations are not high, I will still watch it once more just to see Caity Lotz :)

Is not a bad movie and definitely not the disaster the other reviewers say it is, there are a tons of movies 10 times more expensive than this one with worse outcome so I can pretty much assure you... This is better than average.
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Not Too Bad But Disappoints Slightly
David Arnold16 January 2015
Nichole arrives back at her childhood home to take care of business after the death of her mother. She calls her sister, Annie, for help but after getting no joy, she carries on without her. It's during a video call with her daughter (who's being cared for by her cousin, Liz) that something happens to her. After a couple of days, Annie decides to help after all, but she discovers that Nichole has gone missing and not before long Annie starts to hear strange noises and is actually attacked by an unseen entity. Not before long, Liz also goes missing, so Annie decides to seek help to find out what is going it a violent spirit hell bent on creating misery for Annie or is there something much deeper going on? The Pact is actually not too bad of a psychological thriller, but in all honesty it is actually pretty slow. It takes a good while for the movie to really get going, but when it does it picks up quite nicely. It's just unfortunate that it takes a while to do this with a bit too many stop/start moments in between.

The feel and atmosphere of the movie wasn't too bad either, and what made these moments better was that there was no "music getting louder" moments. I find the lack of dramatic music in movies like this much more enjoyable as it adds to a better mood. There are some nice touches throughout the movie as well and with being a low-budget film some of the visuals are done well.

I think Casper Van Dien must have had more practice at acting as well because he was actually pretty decent here unlike the hideous over-acting done in Starship Troopers. There are definitely more pluses than negatives for The Pact, but I just wish that it managed to keep a better pace for the 1st half of the film.

Overall, though, it's not too bad of a movie.
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Not exactly a thrill ride
bowmanblue4 January 2015
The Pact is a story about a woman who loses her mother and spends a large proportion of the film wandering round various apartments on her own. Sometimes spooky stuff happens, but sadly not much.

She just wanders around. Sometimes she talks to herself. Sometimes she phones a friend and leaves a voicemail message. Once she even spoke to her daughter via webcam. Every so often, something would go bump somewhere in her apartment. I think that was my cue to be scared. I wasn't.

Nice atmosphere and sense of foreboding dread - pity nothing much happened. It's like the first (duller) half of Paranormal Activity (1), only without the second exciting half added on to it.

Oh, and Starship Troopers' former poster boy Casper Van Dian is in it. And he looks waay too old to be in the mobile infantry and more.
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Fails to Impress
papurser7924 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
While there are a couple of jump-out-of-your-seat moments, this film was fundamentally one of the most poorly composed films I've ever seen. Lots of elements in this film went unexplained and unaddressed. Poor writing, in my estimation. Egregious use of "deus ex machina" to avoid having to explain / give back history to people / places / events in the film.

WARNING: Numerous spoilers from here down, so don't read if you're planning on watching the film.

There are a host of unexplained elements in this film: What did the mother do to the daughters in the closet? What was her role in the hidden room / her brother? Surely the mother was his accomplice in the crimes, as she gave the murdered girl's cross to her daughter; like a serial-killer's trophy... so she had to know what her brother was... so why don't we get an explanation? How did he come to occupy the room? What was his back history / story? Why didn't he kill the girls so many years ago? Why is he in his mid to late 60's but looks like he's in his late 30's with abs and pecs like an athlete? Why does he always sit on the edge of the bed and cry? Honestly, this film felt like a director loaded a bunch of unrelated horror-film elements into the barrel of a shotgun, squeezed the trigger, and shot them in scatter-fashion out onto the silver screen. I have a hard time imagining anyone could be scared of this film, as no one could understand what was actually going on in the film.

Overall, a big disappointment. The film was nothing like the teasers / trailers suggested.
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