This is a movie that I’ve avoided because, even thought I know it’s not fair, I thought the cover art was really stupid looking. Based on the cover, and the fact that this is an IFC film, I just assumed The Pact was a low budget thriller that wanted to be a little spooky and supernatural; which, is pretty much what this movie was, only it turned out a little better than I anticipated.
The Pact (2012) follows Annie, played by the adorable and tomboyish Caity Lotz, as she tries to find out what happened to her sister and friend who went missing in her recently deceased mother’s house. And, she also wants to know what mysterious force is giving her nightmares and pushing her around the hallways as if she were as weightless as a pile of dirty laundry. The thing I like about Annie is that she never second guesses the supernatural things that are happening around her. In so many paranormal films, the protagonist spends half of the movie trying to convince themselves that nothing is wrong, or that if something is wrong, it’s in their own mind. Not Annie. She jumps on her motorcycle and speeds away wearing only her underclothes at the slightest hint of evil malarkey. She does not sit in the bed and breathe heavily or try to shrug it off with medication like so many other horror movie divas.
I was not 100% in love with how the movie panned out. There were some cool moments along the way though. I have to say, there is something unnerving about a bony little shirtless man crying at the foot of a bed. I also liked the scene in which Annie enlists the help of a not untalented, but fairly incompetent medium: a high school friend named Stevie. Stevie looks fairly white trash, but she speaks very softly, and seems incredibly sweet with her cloudy, blind eyes. I don’t know about you, but I like my oracles archetypal. And, without Stevie the plot cannot movie forward. Her reaction to going into Annie’s mother’s house is also one of the dramatic high points of the movie, charged with lots of flailing and screaming. Quite a contrast to the help offered by the male lead; a local, clueless detective. Spoiler alert: he’s basically killer bait.
I guess the coolest thing about The Pact is that the supernatural being in the film is in fact not the source of evil in the story. It serves as a guiding figure for Annie, presenting itself in uncomfortable, and surprisingly modern ways, like in some eerie Google streetview images. Granted, it doesn’t really make sense that the ghost of a woman who was murdered decades earlier, presumably the seventies based on her clothes, would be in a Google streetview image, but it was a neat idea nonetheless.
Overall, I would say that I didn’t hate this movie, but I probably won’t go recommending it to all my friends either. It is on Netflix though, so if you want some mild horror on a sleepy Sunday, it may do the trick.