The Pact (2012)

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Released 24-Oct-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror / Thriller Menu Animation & Audio
Teaser Trailer-Apartment 143 (Emergo)
Interviews-Cast & Crew-About The Cast
Interviews-Cast & Crew-About The Director
Interviews-Cast & Crew-About The Location
Short Film-Original Short Feature – The Pact
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 85:15
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Nicholas McCarthy
Studio
Distributor
ContentFilm
Entertainment One
Starring Caity Lotz
Casper Van Dien
Agnes Bruckner
Mark Steger
Haley Hudson
Kathleen Rose Perkins
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Ronen Landa


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

 

Think You're Alone?

    After the death of her mother, Nicole Barlow (Agnes Bruckner) returns to her family home – a house which prompts dark memories of an unhappy childhood. Now a reformed drug addict and mother to a young daughter Eva (Dakota Bright), Nicole remains haunted by her past, as does her sister Annie (Caity Lotz). During a video call from the house to her daughter at home, Eve asks "Mummy, who is that behind you?", but Nicole sees no one. Shortly afterwards Nicole disappears, and it assumed by her friends and family that she has either gone away on her own volition, or has encountered a sinister fate.

    Despite not being on the best of terms with her sister, Annie returns to the house in an effort to find out what happened to Nicole. The house has unhappy memories of her childhood and Annie is reluctant to stay there, however she is unwilling to give up the search. After a series of unexplained events and disturbing dreams Annie begins to feel that she is not alone in the house and suspects that it might be something supernatural. Annie invites her cousin Liz (Kathleen Rose Perkins) and Eva back to the house after her mother's funeral, only for Liz to also disappear. These events culminate in Annie leaving the house only to return with police detective Bill Creek (Casper Van Dien), and later with blind psychic Stevie (Haley Hudson). They find a hidden room which Annie cannot remember from her past, but which holds a key to unravelling her family's dark history and the realisation of a truth that must be faced.

    The Pact succeeds in building tension, especially in the first half where we are not sure which direction the plot is moving. The second half loses a bit of impact when we start to realise what the house's secret might be. There are the usual instances of "bumps in the night" and unexplained shadows that we've come to expect from this type of horror movie, but overall they are well handled by director/writer Nicholas McCarthy. Lotz does a good job in the leading role with not a lot to work with. It's a pretty generic role in a pretty generic movie but the claustrophobic filming helped generate the tension and kept this viewer involved with events as they unravelled. The Pact is one of those movies where the anticipation of dread makes up the greater portion of video time rather than the actual events themselves. The moody set design and complementary audio effects helped in setting the atmosphere and the surprising conclusion will have you thinking back for clues.

   Overall The Pact is one of the better horror movies in recent times and should keep you well entertained.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is anamorphically enhanced widescreen.

    Using a very sombre palette for the most part in low light levels, the overall impact is of a soft and indistinct nature which I assume is what the director intended. Often there is also a hazy texture to the visuals – especially where there is a beam of light from half-opened curtains or from a distant light globe. Despite this there is enough detail to pick up little things like, for example, the freckles on Caity Lotz's face, but for the most part the lighting doesn't allow for much definition. Even in the outdoor scenes there is no pop of colour with everything continuing to look grey and rather ashen. The relatively rare instances featuring blood had the makeup effects looking realistic and of the correct intensity. Skin tones were, again, rather ashen. I could see no obvious video artefacts caused by the DVD encoding with blacks and greys reasonably distinct and vertical lines such as doorways and drapes all with a straight edge. .
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The default audio track is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kb/s. There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 track at 192 Kb/s. Both audio tracks are problem free with clear dialogue which is in synch with the video. The 5.1 track is obviously the recommended selection assuming you have a home theatre system. The sound effects were used effectively whether coming from surrounds or fronts, with the LFE track thunderous at times during periods of panic and to signal that something unfortunate was about to happen. Periods of silence were also used well to emphasise the feeling of apparent emptiness. The score by Ronen Landa is very atmospheric and melodic however I thought the song over the closing credits (Periwinkle by Saturna) did not match the mood of the movie.

    This audio presentation is very good.

.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    

Menu

    Looping video and audio.

Trailer (1:52) 

    Apartment 143 (Emergo) - 1.78:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio recorded at 192 Kb/s.

About The Cast (4:54) 

    1.78:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio recorded at 192 Kb/s.

    Short interview with actors Caity Lotz, Casper Van Dien and Haley Hudson with puffery from producer Ross M. Dinnerstein and director/writer Nicholas McCarthy.

About The Director (4:35) 

    1.78:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio recorded at 192 Kb/s.

    Interview with director/writer McCarthy with comments from Dinnerstein, Lotz, Van Dien and Hudson. More backslapping with little of interest.

About The Location (4:08) 

    1.78:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio recorded at 192 Kb/s.

    McCarthy talks about the film and the house - including set design. There are minor inputs from Lotz and Van Dien.

Original Short Feature – The Pact (10:55) 

    1.78:1 aspect ratio with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio recorded at 192 Kb/s.

    Nice little ghost story which begins in a similar way to the movie but ends without the plot divergence. Written and Directed by Nicholas McCarthy with acting by Jewel Staite and Sam Ball. Ball has a co-starring role as Giles in The Pact movie.

 

 

        

 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This release appears identical to the R1 version.

Summary

    The Pact keeps its audience guessing and is inventive enough to set it apart from most b-grade horror movies. The cinematology and audio effects are also better than you might expect with director McCarthy showing a deft hand putting it all together in a convincing manner. Highly recommended for horror movie lovers.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The "About The..." extras are quite weak and were obviously taken from the same source. The original short however was pretty good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mike B (read my bio)
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
Amplificationdenon AVR-4311 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp
SpeakersB&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub, Definitive Technology Supercube II Sub

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