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The Pact Reviews

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Matt Donato
We Got This Covered

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 Source: We Got This Covered | Original Score: 4.5/10

September 14, 2012
Witney Seibold

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

Full Review Source: CraveOnline | Original Score: 8.5/10

August 25, 2012
Brent Simon

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 Source: | Original Score: B

July 15, 2012
Todd Jorgenson

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

Full Review Source:

July 15, 2012
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

July 12, 2012
Brian Orndorf

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 Source: | Original Score: B-

July 6, 2012
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 6, 2012
Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 6, 2012
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/5

July 5, 2012
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

July 5, 2012
David Guzman
Film Journal International

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.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

July 5, 2012
Noel Murray
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: AV Club | Original Score: B+

July 5, 2012
Nick Schager
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Village Voice

July 3, 2012
Calum Marsh
Slant Magazine

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

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 2, 2012
Cole Smithey

[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 Source: | Original Score: C-

July 2, 2012
Rosie Fletcher
SFX Magazine

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

Full Review Source: SFX Magazine | Original Score: 3.5/5

June 11, 2012
Brigit Grant
Daily Express

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

Full Review Source: Daily Express | Original Score: 2/5

June 10, 2012
Philip French
Observer [UK]

The film cleverly exploits aspects of everyone's childhood.

Full Review Source: Observer [UK]

June 10, 2012
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph

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 Source: Daily Telegraph | Original Score: 3/5

June 8, 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 Source: | Original Score: 3/5

June 7, 2012
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