Given The Pact‘s relative obscurity, you might be inclined to lump it in with other DTV (direct to video) schlock, but you would be wrong in doing so. The Pact might not have the highest budget and I would be remiss in not warning you that the acting is anything but good, but what it lacks in quality, it makes up for with it’s story, which neatly packs in an interesting supernatural murder mystery, with a nice little twist near the end.
Short nitty-gritty plot description from IMDb is as follows: As a woman struggles to come to grips with her past in the wake of her mother’s death, an unsettling presence emerges in her childhood home.
The relative gist of the story involves Annie (Caity Lotz) heading back to her childhood home, due to the recent passing of her Mother. Her sister, who was already at the house, ends up disappearing for unknown reasons, which forces Annie to stay the night with her cousin and niece. After some freaky stuff starts happening, like objects being moved, noises in the wall and the sudden disappearance of her cousin, she decides to hightail it out of the house and head for the police. This is where we’re introduced to Casper Van Dien’s character, Bill Creek, a cliched grizzled cop, with an untucked bowler shirt and brown leather gun holster. Bill helps out Annie a few times, but is mostly wasted, which honestly given Dien’s performance, doesn’t matter in the end. Annie does some investigation work on what’s happening at the house, which involves an old high school buddy, who just happens to conveniently be a psychic and the results end up being more than meets the eye.
Having already mentioned the wasted Casper Van Dien, I can’t really say much for anyone else either, as even our main character Annie, delivers a few too many stiff lines and makes some real asinine decisions. She isn’t awful, but she does struggle to lead the film. All I can say, is The Pact certainly isn’t leading, ahem, the pack in the acting department.
However, The Pact certainly isn’t lacking the chills, as there are several nicely shot scenes, that may very well chill you to the bone. Unfortunately, even though the film starts out great, with some real genuine thrills, it starts to become less frightening, come the second half. Once we start to move away from the small confined quarters of the house, we start to losing that feeling of dread. Thankfully, things do start to shape up near the end, as we move back into the house. For the most part, I can guarantee you The Pact will deliver at least a few spooky scenes out of its 89 minute run time and I personally loved the “twist” ending, even though there are a few questions left hanging in the air.
The Pact manages to escape the stigma of DTV bargain bin quality and provide us with a chilling mystery, which provides enough creepy moments, mixed with some generally interesting twists. The acting might offend most people, as it just doesn’t quite cut it, but if you look past that, I think you’ll rather enjoy The Pact.