After the death of their mother, sisters Nicole and Annie reluctantly return to the place they grew up in an effort to pay their respects. When Annie arrives in town, Nicole is nowhere to be found, leading Annie to believe her sister simply couldn't deal with confronting their traumatic childhood, one in which Annie and Nicole were abused. While staying overnight in the house, Annie begins to experience a series of intense visions, leading her to uncover the terrible truth about her mother's past and the true reasoning for Nicole's disappearance. Nicholas McCarthy's The Pact is horror story with old-school sensibilities, being a film more interested in suspense and atmosphere than cheap thrills and gore. The Pact is very impressive from a technical standpoint but unfortunately the overall story simply isn't on the same level. The Pact starts off very strong, with a great ominous story line but as more details of the narrative are revealed it struggles to sustain tension. This is a film that has no desire to spout exposition at the viewer to make sure they keep up, with an unwinding mystery that is intriguing but more difficult (and a little silly) than it should be. The Pact's greatest strength is its cinematography that uses a mixture of effective compositions and well-placed camera movements to create a brooding atmosphere. Nicholas McCarthy's The Pact is a well-crafted, refreshing through-back horror film that incorporates modern technology effectively into its story, but unfortunately the narrative doesn't live up to the promise of its impressive atmosphere.
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