Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Pact

We are very much in a lean period for horror and, like many times before, major studios have nearly ruined the genre, which is saved only by the vision of independent filmmakers. While independent studios like Laemmle made awesome sauce like Dracula, Universal plopped out the turd that is Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. And so it goes, through the ages. Big studios put out glossy, shallow junk that makes a mockery of the genre and then independent filmmakers come along and remind you horror may actually be worth watching. Well, it’s happening again. You’ve heard me rave about other independent scary movies like The Innkeepers and here are two more. The first is the better of the two and is a genuinely creepy little flick called The Pact. (The other is reviewed later and called The Possession)

Some believe ghosts do not exist, but, rather, what people experience is the energy residue left behind by people and experiences. What experiences could be so powerful as to leave a metaphysical wake like that?  Heavy shit, that’s what. Well, Annie, our hero, was sick of her mother and sister’s crap and moved away from her hometown some time ago. Suddenly, her mother has passed away and her sisters are calling, asking her to please come back home for the funeral, at the very least. When Annie gets to her childhood home, however, no one’s there. To make matters odder, her sister’s cell phone is there, though sister is nowhere to be found, and she can’t get ahold of anyone, at all. Then, well, weird stuff starts going down. Like any good ghost movie, she goes on a personal mission to find out why this is all happening and to put a stop to it.

I really liked this movie. It was one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a good long while. Nicholas McCarthy does an excellent job of creating a simple, sparse and super creepy environment. It reminded me a ton of Carpenter’s Halloween in that way (there’s no Mike Meyers sort of character, btw, I just mean in terms of feel) and let’s hope he doesn’t have Carpenter’s track record for subsequent movies. I'm just sayin', seriously, most of Carpenter's subsequent movies sucked major. Anyway, this flick, like all good horror, keeps it simple and, thankfully, doesn’t devolve into unrealistic CGI, over-revealing the bad guy or dumb sexy teenage protagonists. These are regular cats doing regular things when very irregular stuff starts happening. If you like scary ghost stuff as well as creepy serial killer stuff, then please please check out this flick. It straight up nails it on atmosphere and performance and the result is a genuinely spooky watch. Oh, also, Haley Hudson’s portrayal of Stevie is straight up classic stuff. I mean…I can’t even…look, just watch it. Stevie is next level good.


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