The Pact

Director: Nicholas McCarthy
Screenwriters: Nicholas McCarthy

Institute History

  • 2012 Sundance Film Festival


Annie returns home to attend her much-despised mother’s funeral as a favor to her older sister. Sleeping in her old bedroom, Annie senses something unfamiliar in the house. She enlists the help of a local cop and a clairvoyant to answer some questions surrounding her mother’s death. As long-repressed nightmares begin to haunt Annie’s life again, an unsettling presence emerges in her childhood home.

Based on a short film that premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Nicholas McCarthy’s The Pact penetrates beneath your skin from the opening drone of its score, with an uneasiness that grows steadily with every unsettling twist. McCarthy’s debut feature modernizes the classic haunted house story by sharply mixing genre elements to keep the audience always on their toes. Cinematographer Bridger Nielson’s camera stalks badass heroine Caity Lotz, both in sudden action and in silent terror, as she uncovers the dark mysteries behind each door.

(Archives note: see also the 2011 short film, The Pact.)

— Charlie Reff

Screening Details

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