M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Last month, counted down my favorite horror films from my first year of reviewing. Now it’s on to Year Two which began officially on October 1, 2011 and went through September 30, 2012. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around a bit. I’ve even added a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st, 2011 and September 30, 2012 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number—31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on May 25, 2012 and available on Video On Demand, digital download, and DVD/BluRay!
THE PACT (2012)
Directed by Nicholas McCarthy
Written by Nicholas McCarthy
Starring Caity Lotz, Casper Van Dien, Agnes Bruckner, Mark Steger, Haley Hudson, Kathleen Rose Perkins
Find out more about this film here!
Though I wasn’t expecting much going into THE PACT, by the five minute mark I found myself leaping from my chair in fear at what was going on. There were a few leaps in logic in the making of this one, but filled with moments of pure creep and terror, THE PACT is a film I’m recommending for those who love all things scary. An old fashioned ghost story, more along the lines of THE OTHERS and INSIDIOUS than PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, THE PACT is a ghost story worth getting behind.
Originally a short film, director Nicholas McCarthy has expanded on the concept without making it seem stretched too thin. The story follows a pair of sisters whose mother has recently passed away. The mother leaves the sisters a house and a horrible secret. When the first sister (Kathleen Rose Perkins) comes to the home, she soon disappears after a freaky interaction with her child over Skype. Then Annie the other sister (a loner motorcyclist played by Caity Lotz) arrives, she finds an empty house of mystery. After a night of sheer horror that will surely make you jump out of your skin in fear, she realizes that otherworldly things are going on. Things get even creepier when a secret room is found with holes drilled in the walls giving someone or something a secret viewing room for everything that transpired in the house.
Great performances all around help make THE PACT easy to get caught up in. Caity Lotz is great and gruff as Annie the tough sister who is scared shitless but perseveres against the forces of the unknown. Casper Van Dien even gives a good turn as the chiseled yet unshaven cop who somewhat believes the story of the distraught woman. And Haley Hudson has a nice smaller role as a creepy medium.
A creepy house, an otherworldly presence, a dark closet, and secret rooms all contribute to the thrills that pile atop one another in THE PACT. McCarthy takes his time unfolding this intricate plot of betrayal and secrets between mothers and daughters. McCarthy uses forced camera angles, trick photography and sincerely frightening imagery to scare the pants off of you in this little film. One of the aspects that is most rewarding is that the action rarely goes outside of this creepy abode, keeping this a tight thriller that never overshoots or shows the rough edges of a film made for this budget.
McCarthy got me more than once in this film, which hits hard in its action and isn’t afraid to get in your face with the scares. I don’t want to ruin too much of the terrors within THE PACT, but I will say you will be scared. The name of the film leaves a lot to be desired and I think many will overlook this one because of it. Another detriment is that people are wandering in and out of a crime scene investigated by the police with no worry. This plot hole is only a minor distraction from a truly great horror film.
No matter how you catch it, make sure you do. THE PACT is not to be missed.
THE 2011-2012 COUNTDOWN!
#16 – THE PACT
#17 – V/H/S
#18 – OUTCAST
#19 – LITTLE DEATHS
#20 – JUAN OF THE DEAD
#21 – BLOOD JUNKIE
#22 – THE SNOWTON MURDERS
#23 – PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
#24 – [REC]3 GENESIS
#25 – JULIA’S EYES
#26 – MOTHER’S DAY
#27 – EL PARAMO (THE SQUAD)
#28 – INBRED
#29 – THE SLEEPER
#30 – FATHER’S DAY
#31 – THE MOTH DIARIES
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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