Nicholas McCathy makes his theatrical directorial debut, The Pact. Annie returns to her childhood home to meet her sister after the death of their estranged mother when an unsettling presence emerges within the house.
The film looks fantastic, especially the lighting, which is all low watt bulbs and dirty yellows, leaving lots of shadows and dark doorways to play on the darker part of our imaginations. I loved the house and all its set pieces; with their dreary colours giving it a wonderful bleak and desolate feel. The film also sports superb sound and acting, with a brief but hair-raising performance from Haley Hudson as a medium.
The film starts out as a typical occult / haunted house story, and it appears to moving along nicely, but then, towards the end of the second act, it has a bit of a change of plan, well, I don’t want to give too much away, but it wasn’t what I expected. It feels like what you’ve got here is the beginning and the ending of two potentially very scary films, but unfortunately, two entirely different films.
The story touches on some intriguing back-story, but just as they start to peak your interest, they move on, leaving it largely unexplained. The Pact successfully builds suspense and unease in the first half, but it doesn’t really do much with it, it just kind of, fizzles out.
The Pact would have benefited from more plot development, and a stronger ending. However, story flaws aside, I found myself enjoying this film. The cinematography and production is top-notch, and it has some genuinely creepy moments.