The Pact is an interesting one, but a film which is difficult to categorize or explain, which is likely to it’s detriment. At it’s core it is a horror film, but there are elements of mystery, crime, and drama. Thematically it touches upon guilt, family, revenge, all wrapped up in a haunted house story. With serial killers.
The film pulls a bit of a Psycho or Scream stunt in it’s opening moments, making us believe that Nicole (Agnes Bruckner – known for her horror roles) is the central character. She is returning to her childhood home to prepare for her mother’s funeral which her sister Annie has refused to go to, given how badly their mother used to treat them. In the house, Nicole sees that one of the doors is open and she goes to investigate. Fade to black. We shift to Annie, who is told that Nicole has gone missing – this forces Annie to return home and face her past as well as trying to find out where he sister has gone. Her cousin and niece come along for the ride. Before long, strange things are happening in the house. The police suspect her of some involvement in the crimes which seem to be following her, and she has responsibility forced upon her. It soon becomes clear that there is something more sinister, and possibly supernatural at work, and as the film progresses, answers come pouring out of the floorboards.
I think the film doesn’t balance its complexity well enough with its scares or memorable scenes. There is something missing the mark for me meaning the film comes off as just a bit better than average, though I think it deserves more credit. The cast are all good, as is the premise, and the ending is effectively creepy, but it’s difficult to recall a standout scene (maybe the seance scene?) or explain what it’s about in a tangible way. I’d recommend it to horror fans, but don’t expect obvious scares or gore – this is more about feeling some unknown darkness gnawing at you, something that is difficult to translate to screen. It’s a fairly short movie though, and it is better than a host of other movies of both a similar budget and those made for millions, and it has an air of originality surrounding it. Worth a shot.
Let us know in the comments what you thought of The Pact and if you have seen the sequel!