When their abusive mother passes away, sisters Nicole (Agnes Bruckner) and Annie (Caity Lotz) disagree with how her affairs should be settled. Nicole leaves her young daughter with their cousin, Liz, and travels to their mother’s home in San Pedro, CA where she begins the process of taking care of business. Annie could care less until Nicole goes missing forcing her to return to the childhood home where she suffered so much abuse at the hands of her mother. Nothing could prepare her for what she finds.
The Pact is a well shot, well conceived entry into the supernatural horror film genre. Those who read my blog will note that I typically receive these types of films with a tepid response, at best. The Pact, however, is a thundering exception.
Starring Caity Lotz, The Pact features a strong female protagonist that – despite showing some worn stereotypical character assets (tough as nails, angry-set features, tidy hair style, leather coat) – manages to surprise, again and again, throughout the film. Gone are the “why-the-hell-did-they-do-that” frustrated cries as I watch the story play out. Lotz gives us a performance that is at once arresting and invigorating. And I’m not just saying that because I love the dimple in her chin.
Okay. I do. I do love that dimple.
Aside from her physical attributes, Lotz is beyond solid in the role and I enjoyed watching her tough exterior begin to crack as she is tested.
The storyline of The Pact, while following some of the typical guidelines of the genre, will manage to find ways to surprise you. The tension is well constructed through typical means of light/dark, space confinement, etc. but nothing about The Pact feels uniformly typical. And while I’m a sucker for strong female characters, it is also the film’s protagonist that crawled beneath my skin. Without revealing too much, it’s safe to say you’ll know when you see it – and if it doesn’t get to you, I applaud your robust and unshakable constitution.
I will gladly confess that The Pact is the first supernatural horror film to get to me in years. Years. The film’s plot has a unique mix of “real” and supernatural danger that should secure a larger audience’s fears. Set against the loss of a family member – even one as purportedly “evil” as Annie and Nicole’s mother – the tale is propped up against a life changing moment. The implied psychological effect, then, is already at a fever pitch by the time Annie arrives on the scene of her mom’s San Pedro residence on that gorgeous Honda. As she begins to realize there may have been things about her mother she didn’t know, the audience should already be thoroughly emotionally invested. Combined, this adds up to a huge payoff as the story of The Pact plays out.
I was happy to learn that the sequel is well underway. Hop over to shocktillyoudrop.com for a full breakdown of what we can expect to see.