Monday, February 18, 2013

"The Pact" Movie Review

Runtime: 89 minutes
Release Date: June 6, 2012
Rating: R
Director: Nicholas McCarthy

Nicole (Agnes Bruckner, "Vacancy 2: The First Cut) is staying at her mother's house, finishing up the preparations for the woman's funeral. While using her laptop to talk to her daughter, we learn that her sister Annie wants nothing to do with the house or the funeral, citing issues that they shared with their mother. When her daughter asks who is standing behind her, Nicole quickly turns around and vanishes.

Annie shows up to look for her sister but only finds her cell phone and computer left behind. Left alone to deal with all of the plans, she manages to pull things together. After suffering through some bad dreams, Annie wakes to find a man standing right outside her bedroom door. Though she instantly climbs to her feet, the man is gone and a presence in the house physically attacks her.

As Annie has never seen a horror movie before, she promptly calls the police. Casper Van Dien shows up at her door, looks around, and doesn't really see anything. He does manage to suggest that she possibly helped her sister disappear, and since a cousin is also missing, he briefly wonders if she is a serial killer. None of this really matters though because Annie quickly discovers that her family has a connection to a series of unsolved murders attributed to someone called Judas, and that the ghosts of her mother's house are sending her a message.

"The Pact" is a taunt thriller that manages to introduce a few scares. I'm actually a little surprised by the amount of hate that this one gets because I thoroughly enjoyed it. Bruckner's scenes end within the first ten minutes, but those scenes are packed full of suspense. When her daughter said that she saw someone behind her, I literally did one of those little internal cringes.

I hate revealing spoilers, but the big problem that I had with this one is the ending. If you haven't yet seen "The Pact," go ahead and skip the rest of the review.

After fighting with unknown spirits and getting directions from the ghosts, Annie discovers that the Judas killer was actually her uncle. Her mother knew about it and helped him hide out in her home, which might explain some of the abusive actions that she took towards her daughters. Now, if this was a film where the ghosts wanted to help Annie discover the truth about her life, I would be on board.

Instead, the ghosts want to warn her that Judas is still around, as in, he still lives in the basement of the house. He killed her cousin and sister and stored them both in the basement. He manages to come and go whenever he wants without a single person ever seeing him. He actually crawls right past her and out a hole in the wall, and he doesn't notice her there. It's implied that he did this multiple times while she and her sister were there.

I totally get that their mother wanted to protect her brother but come on! Did it never cross her mind that she might want to warn someone that there's a crazy serial killer living under her house? Like say, I don't know, maybe any future owners? The ghost in the house manages to help her kill Judas, and then she runs off to live with her niece, who the film clearly showed she had no relationship with before.

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