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The Pact
2012, Nicholas McCarthy

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After the death of their mother, two sisters go back to their childhood home to tie up lose ends and make peace with their past and end up discovering some unsettling and disturbing secrets about the mother and the house they grew up with.

Been awhile since I did this! So, I watched this last night at 1AM. I was in a really bad mood, and thought maybe a movie that would scare me sh**less would be a good distraction. Further to that, I watched it under my covers with my ear buds in, which made it even creepier because I could hear every little sound.

So I know the ghost story sub-genre is probably the most cliche of the horror genre, but it's always been my favorite because when done right, it forces the audience to use its imagination to fill in the blanks, which is way scarier than anything they could do visually. Ghost stories seem to be the best at showing barely anything at all and yet still managing to be scary, which I love.

This film sticks close to the rules, but manages to lift itself above mediocrity with a surprising narrative and some genuinely creepy imagery, all soaked in a creepy atmosphere that just doesn't seem to want to leave. And that's the thing, when I'm grabbed by a ghost story's atmosphere without constantly getting my face rubbed in it, it tends to get under my skin. This film did just that and allowed me to relish in that wonderful 'I'm scared but enjoying it' state. I was also pleasantly surprised by the climax and the reveal of what was exactly going on.

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From the opening scene, it immediately disarms its viewer within the first 3 minutes, and you spend the rest of the movie feeling uneasy and tense. There's hardly any blood or guts, or soundtrack to speak of, and whole bits where there's barely any dialogue, but it manages to build just the right atmosphere and keep you on your toes.

The mystery is compelling and holds the story together in an efficient way before the very tense last twenty minutes, even though there is no 'pact' to be seen in it. The only part I didn't really care for at all was the ending, which was kind of silly and I wish the movie had ended just a couple minutes sooner, instead. It does leave things just vague enough to keep it open-ended, though, and while there are a few scenes that were unnecessary, overall, it's a fun, creepy ghost story worth a watch.