The Pact (2012)

The Pact Poster

The Pact is a classic example of wasted potential. It takes the scariest single concept I’ve come across and squanders it on clichéd haunted house scares.

Warning: spoilers follow.

The concept? The childhood home of Nichole and Annie (Caity Lotz) is secretly inhabited by their serial murderer uncle “Judas,” who it’s suggested used to molest them as children at their mother’s behest. He uses a secret room to spy on the house’s inhabitants, and occasionally pops upstairs to steal food from the fridge … or murder people. It’s an absolutely bone-chilling idea.

But The Pact spends most of its time on a by-the-numbers ghost story. It undercuts the scariest scene in the film by introducing a poltergeist who tosses Annie about the house. There are some well-executed supernatural scares here, including innovative use of modern technology like Google Maps and Skype, but the uncle plot isn’t revealed until very late in the piece.

The Pact

It’s spare and minimalist, with muted cinematography, little dialogue and a deliberate pace. The director is talented, but the plot is riddled with holes and quite clichéd (there’s both a Ouija board and an exposition-delivering psychic).

The Pact isn’t a bad film. But it could have been so much more.

Rating: 95/200

3 thoughts on “The Pact (2012)

    • It wasn’t a bad film! Sure, there were some plotholes, or at least things that didn’t feel sufficiently fleshed out, but it was pretty well executed ghost story.

      I’m just biased against supernatural scares, I guess – I find scares involving actual people way more frightening (and that is what this film was going for), and I felt that the ghost story was something I’d seen a bunch of times before; a creepy murderer living under the house, not so much!

      I really want to hunt down the original short film (like 12 minutes) this was expanded from, though.

      • I actually had a similar response to the Paranormal Activity series (which I’m planning on writing up in the near future) – anything involving people acting weird I found quite scary in those films, but most of the bump-in-the-night/supernatural scares didn’t do anything for me.

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