September 18, 2014

VOD Review: The Pact 2 (2014)
In 2012, writer-director Nicholas McCarthy blessed us with his stylish and creepy little Haunted House gem, called The Pact (our review HERE.) It was one of our favorite movies of 2012, and a genuinely effective first effort for the director.

While McCarthy has moved on to other projects like At the Devil's Door (our review HERE), we were still  thrilled to hear that a new creative team was moving forward with a sequel, and that it would star Caity Lotz, at least in some capacity.

Having now seen The Pact 2, we can only wonder how much better it would have been had McCarthy returned to write and direct it.

The Pact 2 is the story of June; a hard working young QT who cleans up crime scenes for a living, who after a particularly horrific murder, she draws the attention of an FBI Agent assigned to the case. Why? Because the murder is somehow linked to the Judas Killer (who was killed in the first movie), and June is somehow linked to the murder, which somehow makes her linked to the Judas Killer... Listen, I didn't write the script, so just go with it.

This guy always strikes me as being very Twin Peaks-ish.
Her boyfriend (who is a Cop), gets her the clean up job on the "Judas" murder, because he's sweet like that. Of course when she starts to clean the crime scene, she begins to have flashes of memory about the house, which causes all sorts of creepy things to happen to her. She's apparently being haunted, which technically began before the whole crime scene clean-up, but I guess it's somehow worse now?

Who did what now?
Freaked out by what is happening to her, June decides to investigate the Judas Killer, which leads her to find Annie Barlow, which makes the movie instantly hotter. From here on out, June and Annie investigate things together and discover things that we, the audience, have suspected for about a half hour or so. Creepiness ensues.

Hot and Hotter.
Although The Pact 2 didn't manage to capture the unsettling atmosphere established in the first movie, it still gave us some some genuinely scary/tense moments here and there. The "shadow on the wall" scene towards the beginning was the most effective one for us.

Co-Director's Dallas Hallam and Partic Horvath do a good job with this one, from a technical standpoint. They've got a good eye for Horror, but we'd like to see them direct something that they haven't written themselves, as the script is the weakest part of this sequel.

Patrick Fischler was great as the odd FBI Agent, and he turned out to be a really solid piece of casting. Camilla Luddington and Caity Lotz did a nice job with their roles as well, even if their characters weren't really given an overly-exciting playground on which to play. In Lotz's case, her Annie, as welcomed as she was in this one, felt like she was out of place here.

Still. both girls did a nice job here.

Yeah, that was creepy.
The main problem with The Pact 2 is that it doesn't ever recapture the atmospheric magic of the first film. It definitely has its share of creepy and effective moments, but for the most part, it doesn't really push itself to be a great film. The script is filled with all sorts of lazy Horror tropes that served only to cheapen things, and even the big reveal at the end was telegraphed fairly early on.

Also, the final scene felt tacked on and obligatory, and it did nothing but make us roll our eyes.

I guess in the end it's fair to say is that while The Pact 2 worked for us, it just didn't work all that well. We were really hoping for more from this sequel.

Oh look, it's the old "open & close the mirror until someone creepy is standing behind you" gag.
Why did it take until halfway through the movie for Annie (Caity Lotz) to show up? And when she did finally show up, why didn't she stay for longer than she did?

We know this isn't Caity Lotz's movie, and that her role in the sequel was was going to be smaller than it was in the first one, but damn, it was like she was gone as soon as she showed up.

Maybe she was really busy filming The Arrow or something?
Well, the main character in the movie cleans up crime scenes for living, so there's bound to be some blood and gore on display here... Specifically though, we get stabbings, shootings, some severed heads, and yes, some grisly crime scenes.

There's an oral sex scene in this one, during which both participants remain fully clothed, because that's how most real people have oral sex. Fully clothed.

"Um... I'm famous now. I don't do nudity."
You can't choose your family. Also, Cops and FBI Agents have issues.

Yoga? Now?!?
The Pact 2 is a serviceable enough effort, but overall it just feels far messier of an affair that its predecessor was. We say it's worth a VOD rental, especially for fans of the first movie, just don't go expecting it to be the same kind of gem that the first one was, because it's not.


The Pact 2 is available now on VOD, and will be in Theaters (limited) on October 10th.

We'd make a pact with Camilla Luddington and Caity Lotz any day. Honestly, we would.


  1. After your announcement of the sequel, I discovered that I've never seen the 1st one. So I watched both. 1st was really good and Caity Lotz talented and hot.

    2nd piece was a letdown. I find it rather ridiculous how Cops, FBI Agents and the character of June had been displayed. And the lady isn't half as talented and hot as Caity Lotz. Or the director sucks enough not being able to draw more of her skills into daylight.

  2. Thank you for such a comprehensive review; I'll still watch it, but with lowered expectations to avoid disappointment. BTW, I think you meant "Sunshine Cleaning". That's the movie with the crime scene clean-up service, with Amy Adams. See ya!

  3. It's still worth a watch, Pablo. And yes, we did mean that. Oops :)

  4. I thought you were too kind to the movie. 1. Where did this Judas now being a malevolent, mind controlling spirit come from? 2. The shadow on the wall was an effective scare but who made the distorted shape? Every time we see Judas, he's the same lovable guy from the first film only now with a hole in his forehead. 3. The heroine , (who I very much enjoyed in that denim shorts outfit), needlessly puts herself in danger never asking her cop boyfriend if she could borrow one of his back-up guns and every cop I know has at least one. 4. Her job has a horror illustrator is never tied into the main plot and it easily could have been. The directors play around with McCarthy's mastery camera pans but never achieve the same effect. 5. The plot resolution is mechanical, makes little sense and has been done to death. 6. Finally, Ms. Lotz was my favorite horror heroine of 2012 and what they did to her - well I'm sorry I watched it. To sum it up, they took a wonderful little horror movie and are trying to make a franchise out of it. You can count me out of ever watching Pact 3.

  5. I won't argue that we we're probably too kind to this movie, but we seem to dislike it far less that most people who have watched it.

  6. Agreed J.S... I didnt think it was THAT bad. I guess if youre one to hold sequels to the standards of their originals, then I can see it being a fail. But I quit expecting sequels to be better many moons and many sequels ago... especially when its a different director then the first. Having said that, The Pact 2 wasnt bad... and when it comes to all the not understanding certain things about the film, how about going back to the first film, which was great, and ask "Where in the hell was 'the pact' in that film?"