After her mother passes away, Annie is persuaded to return home and pay final respects. Sleeping in her childhood bedroom, something ominous and unfamiliar in the house rattles the tough-as-nails heroine. Enlisting the aid of a local cop and a clairvoyant to investigate, Annie soon finds these mysterious disturbances only serve as a catalyst to bring forth long-repressed nightmares that reveal a disturbing secret about her family's history.
In THE PACT, Annie Barlow has been estranged for her family for years. But when her mother passes away, she must return to the one place that she would rather forget...her childhood home. Expecting to meet up with her younger sister, Nicole, Annie arrives only to find her mothers home empty. As it would seem, Nicole has simply vanished, as no one has been able to reach her. Believing that Nicole has just runaway, which would be typical of her drug addicted past, Annie chooses to carry on as plAnnied. But it is after the funeral, that things get a little more suspicious when Annie and Nicole's cousin, also vanishes, mirroring Nicole's disappearance. Annie goes to the Police and Detective Creek for help, but he and everyone else have difficulty in believing her claims. Following the two sudden disappearances, Annie is haunted by a beyond-the-grave, supernatural presence that has appeared to claim revenge. Virtually on her own, Annie works to uncover the truth, eventually digging up a long buried secret belonging to the Barlow family.
2012'sTHE PACT, is a film that just so happens to be Writer/Director Nicholas McCarthy's full-length incarnation of an earlier produced short film from 2011 of the same name. Looking at the film's trailer prior to seeing it, I assumed that it was strictly a supernatural effort, but the truth is, that it's a film, that mixes several different aspects to create a rather potent film. Here in THE PACT, not only are there the elements of the supernatural, but there are also elements of mystery, drama, and even plot which involves a serial killer named "Judas". The film starts off on a bit of a slow note, however, this time allows us to absorb the characters, especially Annie and the frame of mind she's in. But it truly doesn't take long until the film's full-on atmosphere kicks in, and we see Annie, as she thrown around the house by an unknown entity(coincidentally, these scenes somewhat reminded me of the film, THE ENTITY from 1982). There are some truly creepy moments in THE PACT, the visual effects are great, and for the first time viewer, the fact of not knowing what is going on helps amplify the film's atmosphere and suspense. The film itself begins to switch gears a little, once Annie begins to become more wise to the situation, after bringing in a young Psychic to check things out. Annie eventually embarks on an investigation of her own, after getting in contact with a less than enthusiastic Detective. THE PACT, as I mentioned, then becomes more of a mystery. Mystery soon leads Annie to not only her Mother's church, but also to a local serial killer whom called himself "Judas" What it all comes down to in the end, is something that I'll refrain from revealing to you, which is extremely difficult for me to do, because this is where THE PACT separates itself from the norm. Through out the film, secrets are uncovered little by little, and they happen to all lead back to Annie's mother's house, literally. All that I can say is that I thought that the big discovery was handled well by McCarthy, as he was able to keep the level of suspense up, and not make it so obvious initially. Usually in films like this one, I am able to catch on to any of the film's secrets before they are revealed. However, in the case of THE PACT, I have to say that I wasn't expecting things to quite go down that way, and because of that, I think I came away enjoying it more.
THE PACT was obviously fairly low budget. There are limited set changes, as well as cast, and the effects are not in abundance - however when used, they are effective. With this in mind however, McCarthy pretty much uses everything he has available to the full extent The cast, although a limited one, features good performances from it's actors. Headlining the film in small roles are Casper Van Dien and Agnes Bruckner. Bruckner, who I am a big fan of, begins the film as Annie's younger sister, "Nicole". From this role, you cannot really judge much from Agnes' showing here, because the time frame in which she is featured is not that long. Instead, Bruckner's character, is just here for the sake of being the platform of the film. As I said, i've been a fan for years, and always jump at the chance to see her in a film. It would've been much cool had her character been more substantial. Van Dien on the other hand portrays a cop named Creek, Creek is the guy that Annie goes to for help, but unfortunately he doesn't believe her of course. In this role, Van Dien has more screen time than Bruckner, but as far as importance to the story, the character has very little effect. "Creek" is basically here to make the story longer in a sense. Most all of THE PACT's weight rests on the shoulders of Caitie Lotz, who portrays the lead character, "Annie" in the film. In the film, Annie is someone who has voluntarily stayed away from her family, but after the death of her mother, she's forced to put it all aside and to confront the past. Through Lotz performance, we eventually feel here characters frustration. I'll admit that at first, I really was not connecting with Annie, but as the film progressed I found myself getting behind her more and more. In additional roles we have the Psychic, "Stevie"(Haley Hudson), her boyfriend, "Giles"(Sam Ball), "Liz" the cousin (Kathleen Rose Perkins), and Dakota Bright as Nicole's young daughter, "Eva".
Part supernatural mystery, part serial killer Slasher, THE PACT turns out to be a worthwhile film. It takes you on a path of suspense and unexpected turns.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
Coming away from THE PACT, I really enjoyed it. For the most part it's solid, the story remains interesting, and the payoff at the end was both, pleasing and fun. From what I understand, THE PACT is on Video on demand now, and has a limited theatrical run beginning on July 6. With it's theatrical dates in mind, i'd recommend this film as a perfect film to see on the big screen!