A woman who is plagued by nightmares involving a serial killer learns her dreams have a horrifying connection to the real world.
Did you ever just watch a horror film where during it you wanted to pull off your own arm just so you could have something to play with to distract you from the steamy pile of cow shit that is taking place right in front of you? That is exactly what I felt when watching The Pact back in 2012 for the first time, and i'm almost certain I made a pact not to watch it again or anything Pact-related. Then again, I'm a fool for a horror, and as much I disliked the thought of there being a number 2 (a poo-pun, get it?), I couldn't help but watch it when I had the opportunity and that's exactly what I done. Surprisingly, The Pact 2 was more than a "rip my arm off to distract myself cause the film is so shit" type of horror experience, in fact it's way more than it, it's a decent horror sequel that surpasses its proceeder on all levels.
I initially played The Pact 2 off to be The Hangover Part 2 of the movie sequels judging by the trailer, but thankfully it proved to be nothing of such, and felt more like a pleasant blend of the two worlds; characters from the first and a story fresh from the page. It's constructed in a fashionable manner, blending these worlds into a coherent image that neither reeks of its previous entry nor differs too much from its source material. It does what every horror sequel should, and that's taking the original premise, moving it in a new direction, adding new twists and turns without forgetting the origin story. With a re-introduction of Caity Lotz and a brief cameo from Haley Hudson, it really brings the story home and makes it feel like a legit sequel without any corners cut or opportunities missed.
Thankfully it doesn't relay too heavily on the scares that it presents and more on unfolding the narrative in order to add dimension to the terror as opposed to the sloppy "insert jump scare here" which has been crippling the supernatural sub-genre for years, and did as such to The Pact in 2012. The scares aren't as strong and dominant as they should have been considering the void the dominates around the middle act of the film. In saying this, there is a nice dark undertone matched with an unsettling atmospheric that adds to the supernatural/mystery element that had forever been absent the first time around, but it took more than just some cheap thrills to liven this sequel up; and it's this that brings me to my next point.
Some of you may not know her at all, but being a slight gamer I know the fantastic and beautiful Brit Camilla Luddington from being Lara Croft in the recent reboot game Tomb Raider; and there was you thinking you don't learn something new everyday. Despite the American accent not working at first, Luddington proved to be the strongest factor in The Pact 2, and without her strong yet vulnerable performance this sequel's premise would have been a lot more unconvincing that it already was. She is both stunning and truthful in the role, and without her presence the film would have deflated into a typical badly acted horror sequel, and we all know that there is nothing worse than a horror with bad acting. Note to Hallam and Horvath, next time let her stick with the British accent it suits her better; clearly not important but IT IS TO ME!
Alongside the wonderful Luddington stands Lotz who reprises her role as Annie, and nothing has ever been more true like Annie saying "I fucking hate this shit"; sorry Annie but that's how I felt watching your experience the first time around. Lotz was able to deliver yet another convincing performance once again, and the added depth to the character has a satisfying (and slightly shocking) end result that would make lovers of the first weep and haters of it stare with a lazy eyed look that says "Does it look like I care?"
Although my positive review doesn't match my mediocre two and a half stars rating, it doesn't mean I particular loved the film because I didn't. I am aware I have pointed out almost no flaws whatsoever and believe me there are many, but it's because I was so glad I didn't wound up watching something like the first which I strongly disliked, and that I was actually watching a horror sequel that surpassed its first. I am not ignoring the negatives I am just admiring the positives, and for a film that was practically doomed before it went into production I think its necessary to point out that The Pact 2 isn't actually that bad, in fact its kinda good. There is a god after all!
Surprisingly intact and a vast improvement over its proceeder; The Pact 2 is a well-fueled supernatural hybrid that installs a decent amount of thrills without the unnecessary waffle that the first suffered from. It is hugely flawed but positively inspired.
THE PACT II
2014 / 90 mins / Supernatural / 15
Director: Dallas Richard Hallam, Patrick Horvath
Writers: Dallas Richard Hallam, Patrick Horvath
Stars: Caity Lotz, Camilla Luddington, Scott Michael Foster, Haley Hudson