The Pact Reviews

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Matt Donato
We Got This Covered
September 14, 2012

Nicholas McCarthy admirably tries to deliver both a terrifying tale of horror while mixing in more gritty elements, but doesn't explain much as to why.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/10
Witney Seibold
CraveOnline
August 25, 2012

Quite easily, one of the scariest films I've seen in a long while... It's a corker.

Full Review | Original Score: 8.5/10
Brent Simon
Shockya.com
July 15, 2012

Debut director Nicholas McCarthy possesses a good grasp of effective, tension-building technique in this psychologically rooted chiller, in which dark, repressed memories of a turbulent childhood bubble to the surface.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Todd Jorgenson
Cinemalogue.com
July 15, 2012

The film has some cheap thrills ... but lacks more sustained tension.

Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
July 12, 2012

The explanations for what has been going on are weird, fantastical and sort of reasonable, within the context of the story, maintaining the film's sense of grounded directness up to the very end.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Brian Orndorf
BrianOrndorf.com
July 6, 2012

A satisfying ghost story without leaning too hard into trends. It's not a deliciously overwhelming feature, but The Pact has modest vision worth a look.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
July 6, 2012

McCarthy is clearly an economical director and what he gets on screen here - while hardly new - is still effective and occasionally creepy.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic
July 6, 2012

A tightly controlled low-budget chiller whose occasional moments of unexpected special effects are set up beautifully by long periods of suspense.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
July 5, 2012

In the end, like a lot of genre movies, this one pulls from different inspirations, and so weighs in, by turns, as overly predictable and satisfyingly recognizable (part of genre cinema's one-two punch).

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
July 5, 2012

In truth, there's nothing here we haven't seen before. But McCarthy, who also wrote the straightforward script, keeps the pace moving and the atmosphere eerie (if rarely terrifying).

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
David Guzman
Film Journal International
July 5, 2012

The best thing The Pact has going for it is the way it manages to play its cards right, despite the fact that it doesn't have many aces up its sleeve.

Noel Murray
AV Club
Top Critic
July 5, 2012

More horror movies set in the 21st century ought to integrate technology into their scares as well as Nicholas McCarthy's The Pact.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Nick Schager
Village Voice
Top Critic
July 3, 2012

There's no pact in The Pact, which is indicative of this faux spooky tale's guiding illogicality.

Calum Marsh
Slant Magazine
July 2, 2012

When The Pact descends, finally, from suggestion to explication, the scares regrettably slink away.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
July 2, 2012

[VIDEO ESSAY] "The Pact" is a horror movie with training wheels. It's for audiences who have never seen one before and don't want to be too scared.

Full Review | Original Score: C-
Rosie Fletcher
SFX Magazine
June 11, 2012

At times scream-out-loud scary, with a second half that can't maintain the momentum.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Brigit Grant
Daily Express
June 10, 2012

To those brave enough to stomach the horrors of the Saw series, The Pact will seem tame.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Philip French
Observer [UK]
June 10, 2012

The film cleverly exploits aspects of everyone's childhood.

Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph
June 8, 2012

Expanding a successful short, first-time feature, director Nicholas McCarthy displays more savvy than inspiration: there's some technical ingenuity to the jumps, but not a lot of logic.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Lisa Giles-Keddie
Real.com
June 7, 2012

While it retreads well-trodden horror paths and shies away from any originality, it does favour heightening the mystery over goriness, relying on some impressive visuals ...

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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