Tuesday, 12 June 2012

REVIEW - The Pact * *

Review by Damon Rickard
Stars Caity Lotz, Casper Van Dien
Written by Nicholas McCarthy
Certification UK 15 US R
Runtime 89 minutes
Directed by Nicholas McCarthy

Nicole and Annie (Lotz) haven't seen their mother for years but following her death Nicole returns to the house they grew up in to sort out her affairs.  Having suffered at her hands as they grew up, Annie refuses to have anything to do with it until Nicole goes missing.

Believing Nicole has done what she always does and run off, Annie doesn't think there is anything strange about her sister's disappearance.  But when things start going bump in the night, Annie soon realises that something more sinister is also living in her mother's house.

What started off as a somewhat promising ghost story soon descended into a by the numbers, highly cliched horror film, aimed at the masses.  Other than a lead actress in Caity Lotz that was very photogenic making her easy to watch this had nothing going for it.  Unless of course you were dying for a return to the screen of Casper Van Dien who hasn't figured out yet that the only reason he fit in to Starship Troopers is that its tone supported bad acting.  And no, he hasn't improved.

The script was poor with character exposition being thrown at us in lines such as "so how long since you shot up", "I've been clean four years".  So I guess that character is a reformed heroin addict.  This was also in the first conversation in the film,  You also have Nicholas McCarthy not believing his audience has a brain cell between them that he felt it necessary every time Annie sees a picture of her mother to have to say out loud to herself "Mum".  Just in case we couldn't figure it out.

The film was riddled with flaws, which if you do see it and make it to the end you'll soon spot the holes from earlier on and also left story strands completely sidelined.  Such as Annie's niece who she had to start looking after following her sister's vanishing act.  The niece was all but forgotten for the middle third of the film.  There were highly fortuitous school friends still living in town that just happened to be genuine mediums.  Although maybe most people went to school with someone that communicates with the dead and then later in life happened to be part of a haunting.  I must have missed out.

The characters were barely fleshed out (other than bad things happening to Annie when she grew up we know nothing about her), the acting was poor and the dialogue scarcely believable.  

But most unforgiving was that the film was just, well, boring.

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