After the passing of her mother, Annie returns to her childhood home to resolve past issues and take care of the funeral – only she discovers she’s not alone. When her sister and cousin go missing in the house, she soon realizes the house itself is home to a dark, violent secret. Initially being released at the Sundance Film Festival, it truly surprised me in terms of quality and acting skill. Although technically an “independent” film, this movie ranks higher than some bigger budget films I’ve seen recently. There are several twists and spoilers ahead, so I recommend watching the movie before continuing reading this review, but the choice is yours.
Right from the beginning, it’s clear this movie is a nonstop thriller with no gaps to catch your breath. From her first night back home, Annie begins to experience unusual and inexplicable events – from a jelly jar mysteriously left on the kitchen floor to doors being left open that she previously closed, and constant nightmares. Annie pleads for her sister to come to the house and help sort their mother’s belongings, but it becomes clear the sisters did not have a happy childhood. We never learn explicitly what happened to them, only that when they were “bad” their mother would lock them in the hall closet. Whatever happened to them as children, neither sister is obviously fond of their mother. This led to a troubled upbringing for both sisters, and unfortunately for Annie also led to drugs and having her daughter taken away and being raised by her cousin. Again, we aren’t revealed the specifics, just enough to build a decent backstory for the family.
While watching the film, I kept trying to decipher the title – The Pact. I knew it had to be in reference to a twist ending since there were no obvious “pacts” made by anyone in the movie. In fact, we’re never exactly told what the pact was, but it is heavily inferred upon by subsequent events in the film. After discovering a secret bedroom built in to their home, Annie obtains the aid of a known psychic to determine what exactly the room was used for. The answer turns out to be pretty damn freaky. Apparently, throughout her childhood, Annie’s uncle (her mother’s brother) lived in that room through which he would access via a small panel in their closet. He had cut out little holes so he’d know when it was safe to leave the room, and he would go on killing sprees around the town. This revelation alone is terrifying to think about – a serial killer watching you grow up through holes in your home? No thank you. It is one of these victims that is haunting Annie’s childhood home, and trying to get her to realize this secret.
What’s even more disturbing to think about is the fact that the mother was locking her daughters in the same closet through which her killer brother was using as an entrance to his death room. Was their mother hoping he would take her kids while she locked them in the closet? What did happen to Annie and her sister while locked inside? The looming darkness of the unknown past of Annie and her sister as children would feasibly make for an incredible prequel of its own (maybe instead of the shitty sequel we got instead). Well, there’s one thing we do know – the crazy killer uncle still lives under the house, using the closet door to occasionally leave and kill anyone who dares to trespass into his home. This made for a great twist in my opinion and felt truly unpredictable. I know I keep saying it, but I can’t believe this was an independent film. I am genuinely impressed.
This movie is…
It’s a suspense-filled thriller that doesn’t stop till the end, and I love it.
Cheers and goodnight.