THE PACT (2012) Reviews and overview

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‘Are you alone in your house?’

The Pact is a 2012 American horror film written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy, based on his well-received short of the same name. It stars Caity Lotz, Casper van Dien and Agnes Bruckner.

Nicole Barlow (Bruckern) is at her childhood home, finalizing preparations for her mother’s funeral. She calls her sister, Annie (Lotz), and asks her to come down. Annie says no, reminding her sister of the way their mother used to treat them, before they begin to argue.

Later, Nicole sits down at her computer and makes a video call to her cousin, Liz (Perkins), before asking to speak to her daughter, Eva (Bright). Due to a bad connection, Nicole begins to wander around the house. When she gains decent connection, her daughter asks who the person is behind her. Startled, Nicole turns around to see nothing but an open door, leading into a dark room. With the connection lost, Nicole sets the laptop down and walks into the room…

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“It takes a while to set up the story, but there’s a strong backstory established that is weighted equally with a dangerous presence in the present. However silly and obnoxious the performances get, McCarthy absolutely floors us with his stunning horror images and nail-biting set pieces. As bad as the film is good, there is some major genre talent in this guy’s bones.” Alan Bacchus, Daily Film Dose

“Where The Pact goes wrong, is that it shows too much far too soon. Tracking shots stalking through dingy, wallpapered corridors and sneaking into slumbering bedrooms very quickly give way to full-on poltergeist thrashings and gory apparitions – and bang goes what little tension had been building up. The film started out as a short, and it shows.” Rebecca Davies, Film 4

The Pact is a horror film developed from a short, and unfortunately it splits apart while being stretched out to feature length. There are some very neat little scary moments, but the whole thing fails to hang together and the plot is muddled.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“Director / writer Nicholas McCarthy has not only impressed me with his story and film, but as a director he seems to really know “what” shots get under the skin of his audience. Those long hallway frames, those fixations on dark closets that tell you that something diabolical awaits, those unnerving moments holding on a instance that drips with tension….these are the elements of a great horror film.”

Cast and characters:

  • Caity Lotz as Annie Barlow
  • Casper Van Dien as Bill Creek
  • Agnes Bruckner as Nicole Barlow
  • Haley Hudson as Stevie
  • Kathleen Rose Perkins as Liz
  • Samuel Ball as Giles
  • Bo Barrett as Jesse
  • Dakota Bright as Eva
  • Jeffrey T Ferguson as Officer Benson
  • Rachael Kahne as waitress
  • Santiago Segura as dishwasher
  • Sam Zuckerman as County Clerk

Wikipedia | IMDb

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